For more than a decade, Austin-based LED lighting manufacturer Ketra has provided design solutions for such corporate bigwigs as Google, Pinterest, and BuzzFeed. Now, the brand has turned its attention to its own headquarters, using light to positively transform the work environment.
The building, unveiled in 2020, was designed by locally based Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and was heavily invested in by Lutron, which acquired Ketra in 2018. Meant to symbolize an “office of the future,” it fuses technology and art, provides space to develop and test new products that can be demonstrated in front of integrators, and embraces the holistic Lutron HXL approach, so that employees can work and feel their best.
Ketra responded to staff, who voiced their desire for more natural light, biophilic design features, and space to spread out, say, for private phone calls. Lighting streams through the open perimeter while glass walls channel light into the core of the building, but there is also Ketra technology that mimics the exact color temperature and intensity of sunlight as it shifts throughout the day from bright to subdued, helping to synchronize the circadian rhythms of the building’s occupants.
With a push of a button, workers can switch color temperatures in multifunctional huddle zones. There are also controls for “vibrancy,” a visual effect that changes the appearance of an artwork by the way it reflects light. Additionally, lighting is used to “spotlight” elements like the raw, industrial, cost-effective concrete floors.
Instead of cubicles, plenty of open spaces encourage interactions. Other highlights include vivid murals by local artist Aaron Darling as well as the Ketra Collaboration Studio, a “work café” where designers can informally discover a range of Ketra lighting and Lutron shade products for potential projects. Come nighttime, it easily converts into a place for evening cocktail parties.
A version of this article was originally published by CEPro.