One presumes there probably won’t be an “official” opening of SXSW Center. Other than the front plaza and the lobby (including ground-floor coffee bar/cafe SouthBites, which opened in June), the building isn’t open to the general public.
Still, given both the wild popularity and the industry-spanning nature of the homegrown conferences and festivals—not to mention that co-working juggernaut WeWork will rent a few floors there—odds are that quite a few people will visit the offices at some point and plenty of those who won’t are still curious about the new digs. You, friends, are in luck.
SXSW has been moving into its offices since May and has settled into the new place—the top two floors of the $70 million building, located at 1400 Lavaca Street, a short walk from the Texas Capitol. The staff (currently 175 full-time members) now enjoys a couple of floors designed in an open-office plan, with a glass-walled central conference room, satellite private offices and collaboration areas, bright pops of color, and absolutely stunning southern and western views from the rooftop deck.
The SXSW Center lobby goes for a vibrant but relaxed look and feel, with terrazzo floors reflecting overhead LED lights that change colors and modern, casual couches, chairs and work tables meant to encourage interaction and activity. The building also features bike-storage room, workout, and locker rooms for workers.
WeWork will occupy 65,000 square feet of the building, law firm Butler Snow leased 21,000 square feet, and Parthenon Capital, a private equity firm, will lease 3,500 square feet. SXSW offices occupy the 11th and 12th floors—42,000 square feet—of the office tower.
Builders broke ground on the 13-story tower, which is owned by CZ Properties, in late 2017. Designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, with Gensler the architect of record and designer of SXSW’s 11th- and 12th-floor offices, the 145,000-square-foot building was completed in June. Harvey-Cleary Builders was the general contractor.
SXSW offices, located on the 11th and 13th floors and including the rooftop patio, feature memorabilia from its 32 years of conferences in festivals mostly in the form of photo montages on some of the walls.