Nestled in Austin’s urban core, ACC Rio Grande represents an educational legacy, having served the community for over a century. The overarching challenge was to transform a 100-year-old building into a state-of-the-art learning hub that enhances occupant well-being and comfort through sustainable building practices, while preserving its historical integrity.
Restoration features included cleaning and patching the signature Elgin-Butler brick façade and integration of custom energy efficient aluminum clad wood windows.

Other transformations focused on accessibility and included the newly excavated landscape lush with native species, the enclosure of two deteriorating open air courtyards into student gathering areas equipped with AV technology and a new Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene roof providing an abundance of natural light through a lightweight structural system necessitated by the limited load capacity of the existing building .

The new campus honors the character of the neighborhood, strengthens connections to the community and creates an inclusive experience for all.

Location, Austin, Texas, 2022

Scope, Renovation of Historical Community College, 140,000 s.f. 
Program, Classrooms, Science Labs, Computer Labs, ACCelerator Lab, Library & Media Center, Faculty Offices & Administration Offices, Courtyards
Services, Architecture, Interior Design, Furniture, Sustainability Consulting

Client, Austin Community College
Team, Milton Hime, Robert Byrnes, Lee Ann McClanahan, Umesh Atre

Certifications, LEED Platinum and AEGB 4-Star Rated
Sustainability Strategies, Adaptive Reuse, Daylighting, ETFE Roof, Reclaimed Water, Material Conservation / Existing Building

Awards, Preservation Austin Award for Rehabilitation, 2021; ATX Green Awards Project of the Year, 2022; National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Phil Freelon Design Awards - Historic Preservation, 2022, AIA Design Excellence Award, 2023; ULI Impact Awards - Best Project Innovation, 2023; USGBC Southern Chapter Awards - People's Choice & Rise to the Challenge, 2023; Chicago Anthenaeum American Architecture Design Award - Higher Education, 2023


In collaboration with Overland Partners, Hutson Gallagher, Inc & Architexas