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When you walk into the North Lamar Impact Hub location, the first thing that hits you is how open and bright the space is. There are plants everywhere, and light streams in from the far wall. In fact, the far wall is mostly windows, which was a deliberate decision by Impact Hub founder, Brian Schoenbaum.

Brian worked with local Austin architecture firm Michael Hsu and Daryl Kunik to redesign the space.

Brian explained how they approached re-working the space to become Impact Hub.

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“It’s a building that has been there for over 40 years. So the first thing is always looking at what it is that we have to work with. You have to start by acknowledging what’s there and envision how we can take it to a new place. So, for example, there were very few windows initially, and we wanted natural light.”

Besides the abundance of natural light the space now has, there is a very striking mural on one of the walls. Green, blue and white mountains stretch across the entire wall. They reach from the floor to about halfway up the wall, and they impact the entire co-working space.

The colors radiate calm, and the mountains are an homage to the south Texan Chisos mountain range.

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“It was a large canvas that felt like it needed something. It has to fit with all activities in the space. We worked hyper-locally and regionally when designing the space,” Brian said about its set up in the room. There is open space directly in front of the mural, which helps it stand on its own as a centerpiece of the venue. People can mingle in front of the mural, or co-work from a table several feet back from it.

Why the mountains? In designing the space, the team wanted to incorporate Texan roots. “Thinking about Texas overall was one of the things that stood out to us. The Chisos Mountains in west Texas are stunning- it’s actually a direct reflection of, a trace of the mountains here [in the state.]”

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The thought that the design and architecture team put into the space is clear today, but the space is not static. Brian sees the space as a still-evolving venue; how will people use it on a daily basis? What does the space have already that fits the bill, and what needs to be tweaked to create a sense of creativity and community?

Of the space, he says, “I try to experience the way that people are using the space. I believe in being interactive and having phases in design and development. What in the space can make people’s experience even more enjoyable? We believe that we’re creating space for people to have their own inspiration, and leaving space for people to create their own story.”

Come visit the North Lamar location and see it for yourself! Schedule a tour here.


Written by Kara Perez, a freelance writer and the founder of Bravely, a financial literacy event company in Austin TX.