Design Solutions - Fall 2020 - 38

One flight up on the
mezzanine, the Frost Loft
contains interactive exhibits
telling the bank's history from
its founding in 1868 to today.
On the same level is the
Cypress Lounge, known as a
"gift to the tenants." Spacious
and comfortable, the lounge
has a large TV area, a dining
table that seats 10, a private
dining room for eight, a
kitchen area with chef-quality
appliances, a small catering
kitchen and small private wine
cellars tenants can reserve,
lounge spaces, restrooms
and a large conference room.
Tenants can use the lounge
for parties or dinners and use
of the lounge is free.

The entryway to the lounge
has a series of small display
cases containing various
artifacts uncovered during the
early phases of construction.
These include shards of
pottery, hand-blown bottles
and other detritus left behind
by previous inhabitants of the
area.

38

I

designsolutions fall 2020

Design of the private
tenant lounge commenced
in January 2018 and the
project was completed in May
2019. The project is a 3,253
square foot interior finish
out. Design was handled by
Michael G. Imber, Architects,
San Antonio, and Cravotta
Interiors, Austin. Architectural
woodwork for the lounge was
fabricated and installed by
HEWN, an AWI member firm
located in Austin, Texas.

Comfortable Design
As a lounge for the
tenants of the building, "the
intent of the space was to
create a series of rooms that
provided a gathering place
for meetings,
training, and
entertainment
in a relaxed
environment,"
says Mac White,
AIA, project
architect from
Michael G.
Imber, Architects.
"Aesthetically, the
space contrasts
with the glass
and exposed
concrete frame
of the building
to connect the
structure and the space with
the culture and history of San
Antonio."

at a
glance
AWI MANUFACTURING
MEMBER:

HEWN
LOCATION:

Austin, Texas
ESTABLISHED:

2003 as Vintage
Material Supply with
a focus in reclaimed
material supply.
Rebranded in 2013 to
HEWN.
EMPLOYEES:

25
The design process began
with a palette of materials
drawn from local precedents
in San Antonio, White
continues. "That includes
the warmth and soft lines of
reclaimed Cypress paneling
and sticking details and
Texas Post Oak flooring
contrasted with ebonized
woodwork in the kitchen,
and reed glass framed with
natural steel in the entry hall
and at the wine room door.
Once inside the lounge, the
soft lines of the coved plaster
ceilings-reminiscent of the
old dining cafeterias of San
Antonio-help to reconcile
the challenging geometries
of the lounge with that of the
building."

According to Ambrose
Taylor, HEWN completed
the Sinker Cypress veneer
profiled wall paneling; flush
fitting passage doors at
the vestibule (these doors
recess into the jamb when
in the open position and are
fabricated in solid Sinker
Cypress lumber); brushed
steel and reed glass entry hall
light box; reed Sinker Cypress
ceiling in the entry hall; steel
and painted wood bathroom
vanities; and Wenge
bathroom mirror frames.
Also provided were
ebonized Sinker Cypress
kitchen cabinets and tongue
and groove ceiling with
solid copper screening on
the uppers and each door
has controlled access with
hidden electronic locks. For
the tasting room, HEWN
fabricated the tasting room
table of Wenge, White Oak,
and brass inlays, as well as
brushed steel and reed glass
tasting room barn door and
refrigerated bottle storage.

Cypress Selection
The Sinker Cypress
veneer selection was one
of the tricky aspects of this
project, explains Taylor. "The
veneer needed to have even
green coloring which comes
from decades of river mud
permeating the sunken logs.
It is more common to have
green to brown coloring on
the outer layers and more
typical Cypress tones as you
approach the heart of the
log. We discussed using an
aniline dye to achieve the
color that the client was
looking for as it would have
offered more control but
we settled on the natural
coloring."



Design Solutions - Fall 2020

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