GraceHebert Government Street Office

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

A modern open office environment that achieves LEED Gold Certification.

The Causey Antiques Building, located at 501 Government, has been completely renovated to create an open office environment that promotes collaboration and inspiration.

Before the building was purchased and turned into our new home, it had multiple identities in early downtown Baton Rouge. Since 1891, the post and beam structure had been a moss factory, a lumber company, a dry good store, and lastly a furniture store.

The facility is protected by the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, and therefore renovations to the envelope (both inside and out) were limited, which created many unforeseen design opportunities. Particular attention was directed to the interior architecture, portraying our identity and design philosophy. An open work plan on the second floor was achieved by stripping the layers of lay-in ceilings, gypsum walls and columns wraps that accumulated over the years concealing the original structure. The wood beams and columns were brought back to the natural finish, and the brick walls were left exposed. Both stairs were opened and customized with iron railings and polished rebar to create a connection to the first floor.

Sustainable materials such as salvaged wood decking, steel and glass, in conjunction with rapidly renewable resources like bamboo and cork, helped to create a rustic industrial design palette. On the exterior, the openings received new windows and the entrances received new glazing with zinc panels, and new suspended metal canopies. A custom marquee marks the company's entry and is reminiscent of the old downtown signage. The chamfered brick corner was allowed to have the only new penetration with a cantilevered steel balcony overlooking downtown.

The facility is certified LEED Gold and underscores the firm’s commitment to sustainable design.