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Gensler SELECTED as Architect for Creative Media Hub


(Austin, TX)--The Austin Film Society (AFS) and the City of Austin have selected a team led by Genslerto provide architectural and engineering services for the Austin Studios Expansion project. The project is funded in part by $5.4 million from the City of Austin’s 2012 General Obligation Bond funds, and it will yield the first-phase of AFS’s Creative Media Hub at Austin Studios. 

Last year, the National Endowment for the Arts funded a Creative Placemaking project at Austin Studios, which resulted in a 

long-range vision for AFS’s future at Austin Studios. The Austin Studios Expansion project is the first phase of this vision, and will focus on developing campus infrastructure, enhancing site access, and transforming the former National Guard Armory into a Creative Media Hub. The Hub will feature creative office space for long-term tenants, a flex-stage for productions, AFS office spaces, and campus amenities such as a screening room, lounge, and a suite of flexible, multi-purpose meeting rooms. The campus amenities will house AFS’s exhibition, education, and artist services programs and will also be available for rental.

Of the project, Rebecca Campbell, AFS's Executive Director, says “the Austin Studios Expansion project is transformative not only for AFS but for the entire Austin film and creative media community. With expanded infrastructure and additional, hyper-flexible space, Austin Studios will be more responsive to the industry. AFS will be able to offer more cultural and educational programming, serve more artists, and provide more space for productions." 

Speaking about AFS's engagement with Gensler, Campbell continues "AFS is delighted to be working with Gensler on the exciting expansion of Austin Studios. Gensler has significant experience working in the creative media and film production industry across the world; we feel their craft will elevate Austin Studios’ brand and enhance its offerings in a way that benefits the entire community.”

Gensler is widely recognized as the world’s leading collaborative design firm. Gensler’s portfolio includes a host of adaptive reuse and green building projects for technology and creative media clientele that mirror the Austin Studios Expansion project, including Facebook’s Menlo Park Headquarters Campus, the NBC Universal City Broadcast Center, and the Sony Pictures Entertainment Lot Transformation, to name a few. In addition, Gensler’s team brings a host of local experts including GarzaBury (civil engineering), Jose I. Guerra, Inc. (MEP engineering), and McCann Adams Studio (urban design consulting) to the project.

Last month, Austin Film Society and the City of Austin selected the locally headquartered project management firm, Broaddus & Assoc

iates, to provide project management services for the project. Founded in 2000, Broaddus & Associates is an Austin-based facilities program management and planning firm that provides services for entities with capital improvement needs. The firm has managed over $6 billion in projects operating from 10 regional offices, and is the only locally-headquartered company on McGraw Hill's Engineering News-Record’s list of the top 50 program management firms in the country. This engagement represents a continued relationship between the Austin Film Society, the City of Austin and Broaddus & Associates: the firm served as AFS's project manager for the City's 2006 Bond Program at Austin Studios, which delivered digital infrastructure and repurposed two former airplane hangers as soundstages equipped with sound-insulation, HVAC, and an 87-foot cyclorama wall. 

The Austin Studios Expansion project’s design phase will run from now through summer 2015, and construction is slated to begin in fall 2015. 

Next up, AFS will procure a Contractor to provide Construction Manager at Risk services for the project; the solicitation is anticipated to open mid-December 2014.