LowDO is slowly but steadily transforming its Southtown San Antonio location into a vibrant office space. In doing so, we want to create an inspirational office environment that celebrates the historic nature of the 1907 building that we are renovating.
The "Beauregard House" has, in its 100+ years on this site (one mile south of the Alamo), functioned as a private home, a multi-resident apartment building, a bed+breakfast, and most recently the crashpad/workspace for some software developers. While the building hasn't always received much TLC, it does have a remarkable set of remnants from these various stages of existence. So before we act as designers, we get to play the role of archeologists, uncovering clues about the past of this soon-to-be LowDO living+working housoffice.
Peeling carpet back to reveal where an outdoor porch was added-onto in order to form an enclosed dining room. Peeling drywall off to reveal various layers of paint and wallpaper on cedar shiplap.
Walls that have been opened, closed, opened and closed again. The wood pattern suggests windows that originally existed were removed in favor of closing them and inserting a door, which later was also closed off. We have uncovered three brick chimneys in the house; those and the transom windows above the doors represent some of the strategies for passive climate control that kept this house livable for most of the past 100 years (and still do, until we install an HVAC system). We have no idea what the square opening in the wall (that the yellow ladder is resting against) at the upper level was for, other than aethetic value.
We may never have the answers to some burning questions about the house, such as, "What year are these soda cans from?" (They were found among the studs in the walls.)
The house has its fair share of quirks and surprises, but it also has an incredible richness of material layered into its architecture. We look forward to utilizing these existing materials in concert with new (experimental?) finishes and details.
But before we start adding...we have some subtracting (delicate editing really) to do. Next up: three walls and half a floor come down.