Austin PBS

The new home of an Austin treasure

We helped our beloved PBS station make the move from the campus of UT Austin — where they had been based for nearly 50 years — to their new home at the Highland campus of Austin Community College.

The move marked a new chapter for the not-for-profit. Formerly known by its call letters, KLRU, the renamed Austin PBS used its move to launch its new brand while also doubling its office and production space and adding a publicly accessible venue to host events and show tapings.

With the move also coinciding with a significant brand refresh by the national PBS organization, PBS Austin and Asterisk had the freedom to infuse the new space with new ideas and fresh visuals, creating a dynamic new home for an Austin treasure.

Services

  • Environmental Graphics
  • Signage and Wayfinding
  • Donor Recognition

Project Team

  • Studio Steinbomer
  • Britt Design Group

Welcoming visitors

The new offices are on the ground floor of a renovated structure that was formerly the Dillard’s store at Austin’s Highland Mall. Four upper floors host Austin Community College offices and classrooms. Exterior and lobby signage, coordinated with architecture by Gensler, greets visitors with the new station logo and its signature “P-head” symbol.

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Descending a grand stair into the PBS space, visitors get an up-close look at a PBS logo that's been artfully integrated into a two-story wood slat wall. Alternating areas of paint and individually sculpted fins mounted between the slats create a visual effect that appears simple, but was actually the result of a complex design effort that included extensive modeling, prototyping, measuring, and fitting in coordination with a local fabricator. Custom typography in a neon cabinet sits above the PBS mark in a nod to Austin’s quirky past.

Front of house

The public area of the space — designed by Studio Steinbomer with interior concepts by Britt Design Group — hosts meeting rooms, a box office, restrooms, and a pre-function lobby. Here, we celebrate the station’s mission statement and recognize those who made the move and space possible through an additive donor recognition installation that coordinates with the surrounding interior finishes and details.

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A portal to Studio 6A

The bright blue doors of the new Studio 6A act as a beacon to draw visitors through the lobby to the recording stages. A subtle gloss-and-matte paint scheme extends a welcome to visitors in 10 languages, translated and typeset by designers from around the world.

Colorful details

The lobby’s public restrooms — often an overlooked design opportunity — include custom wall coverings that draw from the history of broadcast television and celebrate some of PBS’ most beloved characters.

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Signage and accent colors

A program of code-required room and office signage references the colorful buttons found on equipment used in the broadcast industry. Back-of-house room signs are color-coordinated with privacy film to activate the open office areas. A companion plaque system gives PBS Austin the ability to acknowledge donors throughout the space.

Our work with Austin PBS continues with the development of an exhibit highlighting the organization’s impact on our local community and the PBS national audience.