Located in the heart of downtown Austin, this project is a renovation and expansion of an existing contemporary art space. LTL renovated Arthouse’s current facilities - currently only occupying the building’s ground floor - and added 14,000 square feet of new program, including an entry lounge, a video/projects room, a large open gallery, multi-purpose room, two artist’s studios, workrooms, lounge spaces, and a new roof deck with film screen. Construction will be completed in October 2010.The existing building is an idiosyncratic hybrid of a 1920’s theatre and a 1950’s department store. The architecture is pulled in two directions – as a theater, its focus was to the stage at the west, while as a store the orientation was to the street at the east. The buildings structure is both a concrete frame with steel trusses and a steel frame with a concrete deck. As a theater, it was single proscenium space that was cut in half by the department store’s second floor addition. LTL sought to intensify this peculiar accumulation of history, by conceiving of the design as a series of integrated tactical additions and adjustments. These interventions revive and augment existing features – such as the 1920’s trusses, concrete frame, and ornamental painting and the 1950’s awning, storefront, and upper level display window. They will also open the second floor and roof through new vertical circulation, and, most important, efficiently add program spaces and resources that allow the building to function and to have a presence in the city as a contemporary art institution. Most prominent are 162 laminated glass blocks are used to perforate the elevation. Aggregated where light is needed on the interior, these apertures unify the building and form a logical yet unconventional façade appropriate for an experimental art venue.