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Light Paints the Space at Ketra’s New Austin Headquarters

July 3, 2020

LED lighting manufacturer Ketra opened the doors to its contemporary, inviting new headquarters in Austin, TX, where innovative lighting controls give it a step above the rest. 

In February 2020, LED lighting manufacturer Ketra opened the doors to its new headquarters, Ketra HQ, in Austin, TX. As both a tech and design company, Ketra was looking for a modern space to reflect its mantra of innovation, but warmth was also an important interior element for the design team.

Photo: Ketra Collaboration Studio; Credit: Jake Holt

“We wanted a contemporary space that reflected the innovative nature of Ketra through clean lines, bright colors and modern design elements,” says Ketra chief operating officer Horace Ho, who was the design lead for Ketra HQ. “White walls and white ceilings are incorporated throughout HQ to allow the light to ‘paint’ the space. However, Ketra HQ is also a warm, open and inviting space that reflects our connection to nature and affinity for natural light with biophilic design elements.”

The headquarters features an open office layout for employees, where light is used to create distinct zones or “rooms,” and the standout Collaboration Studio, a multi-purpose space meant to accommodate a variety of events for guests and customers. That might include Ketra demonstrations for clients or connecting with Austin’s creative community by hosting a gallery for a local artist.

Photo: “Light guides the experience within Ketra HQ, whether using light to wayfind or inspire,” Ho explains. “Specific examples include the use of colored lights to designate vacant conference rooms.” Credit: Jake Holt

All spaces, of course, are enhanced by Ketra lighting and parent company Lutron Electronics’ lighting controls.

Photo: Walking through the front doors of Ketra HQ, employees and visitors are welcomed into the Collaboration Studio. Light is used to delineate zones, from several lounge areas to semi-private booths. With a touch of a button on Lutron’s lighting control system, the space can “transform from a collaboration space by day to a warm, evening cocktail environment,” Ho says. Credit: Jake Holt

“Natural light was the top request from all Ketra departments and is provided through Ketra’s Natural Light setting,” Ho says. “By recreating the color temperature and intensity of the sun, any space within HQ can feel bathed in sunlight, while thoughtful use of Lutron’s semi-transparent, automated shades allows views of nature even when the shades are fully drawn.”

Photo: Ketra commissioned local artist Aaron Darling to paint an eye-catching mural featuring skylines of each city where Lutron has a presence. “We’re proud of our Austin roots, and it was crucial for us to pay homage to the city by collaborating with an Austin-based artist to add a cultural element to the space that we hope will serve as a hub for the local design community,” Ho explains. Ketra fixtures along the mural, on the Vibrancy setting, amplify its details and colors. Credit: Jake Holt

Since opening earlier this year, Ho says feedback on the new office has been incredibly positive. Although employees are currently working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ketra team is eager to get back into the space when it is safe to do so.

Photo: Another key aspect of Ketra HQ, Ho says, is the ability to create user-controlled, personalized workspaces that empower employees to tailor lighting conditions to their needs. They can use crisp white light for focused work or warmer light to provide ambiance for a presentation. Credit: Jake Holt

“With so many different departments, clients and community members using the space, we wanted to ensure it met the needs of as many people as possible, and I think we’ve been successful,” Ho says. “Though COVID-19 has presented shifts in access to HQ and the Collaboration Studio, we’re continuing to evaluate plans to safely transition the Ketra workforce back to the office, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the design community to the Collaboration Studio with their safety and wellbeing as our top priority.”

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About the Author

Sarah Kloepple | Associate Editor

Sarah joined the BUILDINGS team as an associate editor in August 2018. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, where her focus was magazine writing. She's written and edited for numerous publications in her hometown of St. Louis.

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