The Rand Building

San Antonio, Texas

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3 ROWS x 32 COLUMNS
Stock Black Sheet Metal Casing
Black Flaps with Stock Font
Custom iPad Integration Software

Built in 1913, the Rand Building is more than 100 years old and previously home to Wolff and Marx, a local department store. In 1981, the San Antonio Conservation Society negotiated on the building’s behalf to prevent the historic landmark from being demolished. The building was then sold to Randstone Ventures and restored to house Frost Bank office workers. Weston Urban, a real estate company, purchased the Rand in its 100th year and continued to share the space with Frost Bank while renovating higher floors for new tenants.

Alamo Architects and Metropolitan Contracting Company worked together to renovate the Rand Building. Their design intent was to create a space that was period correct but modern enough to house the energies of the companies moving in. The exterior of the building was left completely intact with minor repairs made to the windows, red brick, and porcelain tile on the face of the exterior. The appearance of the interior was modified by the companies occupying the space. Geekdom, a company that offers collaborative co-working spaces, retrofitted the sixth floor to house small to medium-sized teams and the seventh floor for smaller, individual startups. With various companies collaborating in one space, a strong method of wayfinding was necessary.

With a number of different companies and departments now housed under one roof, visitors were finding it difficult to locate the offices they planned to visit in the building. Sure, an LED or TV screen would have provided a solution, but it would not fit the aesthetic of this historic location. Enter the Split Flap.

Split Flaps were originally built for wayfinding and fit this project perfectly. The Randstone renovation left certain historic elements of the building intact, most notably, the beautifully simple lobby elevators with a vintage dial display above the door. To keep from tarnishing the historic aesthetic of the space, Oat Foundry provided a 21st-century technology-backed Split Flap Display. Using MQTT protocol, we developed a solution in-house that allows guests to search the directory using an iPad. Once they select their destination, the iPad pushes the data to the Split Flap. The second a guest presses the button, the clack-clack-clack from Split Flap attracts their attention. As guests move towards the elevators their desired location will be displayed on the Split Flap. In between requests for a directory location, Split Flap will rotate through welcome messages to greet regular tenants.

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    Development: Weston Urban
    Architect: Alamo Architects

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