The D2000 Building in San Antonio, designed for an Austin-based developer, was built too close to the growing downtown area. Site restrictions and the tenant’s security needs meant that the design needed to put a lot of function into a relatively small space, and that street-level interaction and open spaces weren’t a possibility. At the same time, the tenant’s new office space is part of its changing mission toward public outreach and education, and the building design needed to reflect that.
Because of the site’s size, open spaces needed to double as circulation or conference space, without being cramped. To achieve that, Haddon + Cowan used the building’s core, which has an open, single-spine steel staircase with wood treads going up its center, as a way to draw light into the center of the building. A glass wall adjacent to the staircase and elevator lobby let natural light reach deep into the interior offices and corridors. Larger areas, such as meeting spaces, are also centrally located.
A bank of windows on the building’s upper floors lighten the exterior, and natural materials like wood and stone soften the façade.
Elevating the building over secure parking also maximized the functions that the footprint could accommodate.