TLCD Architecture Office

Santa Rosa, CA

When looking for a new home for our own offices, we spotted the perfect opportunity in an abandoned former telephone-switching facility that hugs Santa Rosa’s Courthouse Square.


The hulking 100,00 square foot windowless building stood as an unpopular sentinel to a downtown hungry for change. We teamed with a local developer to repurpose the entire building while simultaneously designing our own interior. With 16’ high ceilings, the second floor offered an urban office environment with a blank slate perfectly suited to support our evolving vision of design. The challenge became not what to do with the existing conditions, but rather how to preserve its purity and simplicity.


When lead paint was removed from the exposed interior, the space took on an unexpectedly serene feel. Concrete floors, embedded with metal artifacts were ground and polished to contrast with the roughly textured walls. A simple palette of supporting materials are carefully crafted and arranged, and made subordinate to the concrete structure.


Clusters of workstations in the center of the space support our highly interactive approach to work while support spaces for group work wrap around the studio. Fat concrete columns march along the circulation spine and provide visual cues into team neighborhoods.

“Main Street” often doubles as multi purpose space when the roll-up industrial door to the large conference room is opened.


TLCD’s new home fosters a welcome shift in office culture, as evidenced by an immediate increase in casual communication and collaboration resulting from the lack of physical barriers and the spacious open ceiling. Common areas serve as a lab for testing new ideas, mock-ups and staging furniture.


Moving out of a space we had occupied for over 25 years involved slogging through acres of drawing storage, files and material samples. While packing for the move, we found new meaning in the saying “change is hard”. But upon arrival in our new home, a sense of liberation energized our tightly knit group and launched new modes of working!


Client: TLCD Architecture

Size: 6,300

Budget: $1 M

Completion: 2016

Sustainability: USGBC LEED® Certified