Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised more than $260 million for the fight against cancer. The organization’s new headquarters facility, a renovation of the 30,000-sq.-ft. Gulf Paper warehouse in East Austin, houses foundation staff and also supports the survivorship mission by providing space for programs and activities.
fd2s designed the graphics program to turn the building’s public spaces into a venue for conveying the mission, history, and achievements of the foundation and its many constituent groups, while also providing opportunities to recognize donors. A recurring motif of the program is a yellow band with recessed or cut-out type, a tribute to the foundation’s most recognized symbol, the bright yellow wristbands that have raised tens of millions of dollars, one dollar at a time.
The building is on track to achieve LEED Gold certification, and the fd2s design team contributed to this effort by working with the signage fabricator, Sign Crafters, to use surplus materials from the fabricator’s shop wherever possible.
A low-key, backlit, stainless-steel panel on a repurposed warehouse wall serves as the building’s primary identification element, and the large yellow “Livestrong” band in the glass-walled reception area can also be seen from outside.
As part of its LEED certification, the building makes extensive use of reclaimed materials, and signage was designed to complement those rough materials where appropriate. The Founders Circle donor recognition element also makes subtle reference to the wristband, with names composed in a loose circle, routed from the aluminum band and backed up with a painted panel that uses subtly varied finishes. And glass conference-room walls are banded with elements of the organization’s maxim, “Unity is strength, knowledge is power, and attitude is everything.” Base building signage also uses the distinctive yellow color synonymous with the foundation.
“This would have been easy to screw up. Of course the yellow wristband should show up, but it does in a disciplined way.”
Curtis Roberts (principal in charge), Leslie Wolke (project manager), Jordan Kepsel (designer)
Lake Flato Architects (project architect), Ten Eyck Landscape Architects (landscape architect)