Posts tagged with "Austin":

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UT Austin hires experts on border communities and environmental justice

The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture (UTSoA) has announced two new teaching hires as part of the school's ongoing Race and Gender in the Built Environment Initiative. Edna Ledesma has joined as a teaching fellow for the next academic year and Miriam Solis will begin a tenure-track position in the Fall of 2018. This announcement comes on the heels of the university naming Michelle Addington as dean of the school earlier this year, though the initiative pre-dates her tenure at the school. UTSoA is a leader among architecture schools when it comes to diversity, having originated several internal commissions and programs as far back as 2008 to address the growing calls for equitable representation in academia. The school in recent years has announced new academic tracks in Latin American Architecture and expanded the offerings of its Community and Regional Planning program, one of the most robust programs of its kind. In many cases, it is not simply a matter of who the school is hiring, but also what research those scholars bring into the fold and how they contribute to a heterogenous learning environment. Ledesma, who holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Science from Texas A&M University and has two previous graduate degrees in design, focuses on issues related to border communities and the cultural landscape of immigrant populations in Texas. Ledesma’s research formally began in 2013 when she organized a series of design engagements called “dialogos” in the South Texas city of Brownsville. Her work seeks to bridge the gap between communities and city governments to help define the design agency of traditionally under-represented groups. Ledesma noted that she was drawn to this fellowship because of UTSoA’s distinct interdisciplinary approach to design and research, which often allows for cross-pollination among the school's academic programs. Solis will enter her professorship next year with a PhD in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley after completing a Switzer Fellowship for her work in environmental planning. Her research focuses on social and environmental justice related to the development of urban infrastructures, an area of research that she has contributed to through her years of experience in California. One of Solis’ ongoing projects concerns the equitable redevelopment of San Francisco’s wastewater system which has historically negatively impacted African American communities.
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Austin is getting its own “smart” street

Smart city technology is a burgeoning but embryonic field: Kansas City has its "Living Lab," New York City has its LinkNYC, and Toronto may get an entire Sidewalk Labs–developed smart city tech testing ground—and that's just to name a few. While each project is different, many involve using a network of sensors, wi-fi stations, and smartphone apps to better connect residents (and tourists) with local businesses, events, and public transportation. Now, Austin is joining this cadre of smart city testers. Austin CityUP Consortium—an alliance of businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations—is behind the Smart 2nd Street Living Lab, an effort to bring a similar smart city network to five blocks of Austin's 2nd Street. (The Lab will extend from Guadalupe Street to Trinity Street on 2nd Street, to be exact.) This system will, according to the Consortium, "collect [and] analyze data such as: pedestrian, traffic, sound, air quality, video, and more to determine safety, quality of life, and other needs." Helping to power this undertaking will be Connecthings, a French company that has already implemented similar technology in European cities such as Lyon and Barcelona, and even farther afield in Rio de Janeiro. How does it work? Generally, it goes like this: many already-existing apps benefit from knowing your location. If they know where you are, the apps can show you geographically-relevant information on local events, transit notifications, security alerts, etc. That's what Connecthings does: it deploys small battery-driven sensors and software that ensures location-specific information gets to the relevant apps on your phone. In the case of Austin, Connecthings is just providing elements of the software while BlueCats is deploying the beacons. Additionally, the Austin test won't initially involve apps—instead, when users with Bluetooh and Chrome approach certain bus stations, they will receive the option (in their notifications/widget panel) to connect to a location-specific URL. Selecting that URL will provide real-time bus schedules for that stop. This feature will be operational as soon as the sensors are installed in September. Down the line, as early as October, other apps will enable the project's full range of "use cases," which includes the ability to find open parking spots, locate alternative transportation options (e.g. ride-shares, public bicycles, taxis), receive wayfinding assistance, or learn about pop-ups and public art. Additionally, the city can use the sensors to record the street's environmental conditions and learn how people are using the streetscape itself. “Austin embraces new technologies that empower its citizens and visitors to get access to real-time information—hence facilitate daily life in helping navigating transportation services,” said Laetitia Gazel Anthoine, CEO and founder of Connecthings. “AustinCityUP is Austin’s key innovation enabler that fosters partnerships and helps make an impact in the city, right away.” If successful, according to the Consortium, this network could extend beyond 2nd Street.
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Two Ai Weiwei sculptures come to Texas

According to the League of American Cyclists, Austin is the only “Gold Level” city in Texas. The cycle group, Bike Austin, currently boasts approximately 13,000 members—more than one percent of Austin’s population. So perhaps a sculpture titled Forever Bicycles has found the right home.

Forever Bicycles comprises, well, you guessed it, a lot of bicycles—1,200, to be precise.

The large-scale work from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is part of The Contemporary Austin’s Museum Without Walls program and its ongoing partnership with Waller Creek Conservancy. It can be found adjacent to the Waller Creek Boathouse at 74 Trinity Street.

The steel bikes have not been painted or colored, resulting in a gray monolith that recalls Weiwei’s childhood memories and dadaist principles. In particular, it seems to reference Marcel Duchamp’s subversions of the everyday object such as the Bicycle Wheel, one first of the French artist’s “readymades.”

However, while Duchamp toyed with the mode transport in a singular fashion, Weiwei exhibits it in excess, recalling the bike brand “Forever” that dominated the streets of China during his childhood, yet were out of his, and many others’, price range.

The bikes are connected and arranged in a seemingly disorderly manner, yet this pattern of partially tessellating bicycles is repeated 11 times, with each iteration being equidistant from the next. From certain angles, the density of the sculpture obscures the cycle motif and the artwork is instead perceived as a metal mesh. However, this isn’t putting off Bike Austin, which says it will be incorporating the sculpture into the daily cycle routes.

Forever Bicycles is actually one of two Weiwei works that now fall under the Museum Without Walls program. The second, titled Iron Tree Trunk, is located at the museum’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria and sees a replica dead tree trunk rise 15 feet.

On a visit to the Chinese town of Jingdezhen, Weiwei observed how locals trade dry wood by basing the value on the wood’s form and general aesthetic. This inspired Weiwei to experiment with wood in a large-scale format. By 2009, he was exhibiting works that used twisted timber, and Iron Tree Trunk, conceived in 2015, continues this thought. The sculpture uses the remains of a large tree that have been pieced together to form a new “tree” that, at a glance, looks as if it is from oxidized iron.

“With beautiful and outspoken conceptual work fused to his own larger-than-life persona, Ai Weiwei has become one of the most important artists working today,” said Louis Grachos, executive director of The Contemporary Austin in a statement. “And his relevance is only deepening given the current political climate in the United States and throughout the world.”

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Delve into “Piranesi’s Rome” at The Blanton Museum of Art in Austin

With more than 40 prints examining the antiquities and architecture of Rome, along with large-scale maps of the city, books, and plaster casts of Greek and Roman architectural fragments, Piranesi’s Rome celebrates Giovanni Battista Piranesi, regarded as one of the greatest printmakers of the 18th century. Piranesi, who considered himself an architect as well as an artist, is best known for his use of the etching medium to create prints of Rome’s architecture, including the ancient Roman aqueduct system, and fantastical buildings that could only exist in the dream world.

Piranesi’s Rome Blanton Museum of Art 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Austin, TX Through August 20

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Kory Bieg of Austin’s OTA+ on how parametric design can shape structures

Aluminum composite panels have been making headlines of late for all the wrong reasons. The subject of scourge was at the heart—or rather, outer edges—of the Grenfell Tower disaster in the U.K. that saw a fire take the lives of an estimated 80 people as flames traveled via the building's aluminum composite cladding. However, at Facades+ AM conference in Austin yesterday morning, the material was shown in a new light. As part of the opening discussion panel, titled Digital Design and Fabrication Frontiers, principal at OTA+, Kory Bieg demonstrated how aluminum composite panels can be used to make three-dimensional structures such as arches and vaults. Speaking to The Architect's Newspaper (AN), Bieg described how he used parametric design tools such as the Kangaroo plugin for Grasshopper to design Caret 6. The vaulting structure, designed and fabricated by his Design V Studio at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, was part of an exhibition on metal structures in 2013. Caret 6 is comprised of large folded panels and responds to a brief that called for a structure using aggregation, weaving, and stacking techniques to create an assembly that could transition from a flat surface to a volumetric enclosure.
"To enable a smooth transition from a flat, two-dimensional ground surface into a volumetric, three-dimensional vault, the studio used a diamond pattern that could work as both an aggregate and woven rib-system. Though the diamond pattern appears to be series of stacked cells, the structure is actually three layers of overlapping ribs," said OTA+ on its website. "Large, continuous primary ribs form the seams from vault to vault, while secondary ribs span between each seam. Tertiary ribs complete the web and enclose each cell to create a rigid structure."
"A core goal of the studio was to introduce asymmetry into what would otherwise be a symmetrical form. The vault is roughly eleven foot at its highest point, enclosing a space small enough for occupants to engage directly with the surface, a condition atypical for most vaults which often frame larger and much taller spaces. "Caret 6 was designed to fill an already existing space," said Bieg, "so it was necessary to design a geometry that responded to the existing room, especially at the edges, where the vaulting forms project toward the walls."
Bieg benefitted from using Robot Structural Analysis which enabled him to model and test different Aluminum Composite Panel configurations to find the optimum structural solution. "Ultimately, we added a layer of attachment details that included thousands of O-rings and binder rings to ensure stability in the event a lateral force or unexpected point load is applied (ie. someone hanging on the edge of the cantilever), but in its resting state, Caret 6 does not require any fasteners," the firm said. Bieg was joined by Anthony Birchler of fabrication firm Zahner. "Digital manufacturing plays an enormous role in not only what we do, but the changing landscape of architecture and design fields," he said speaking to AN. "Designers want to understand how they can interface with a firm like Zahner—and here's the big part—they need to know how to establish this kind of precedent with their clients in our industry. Our presentation shows how firms are accomplishing unique architectural works. This isn't theoretical. This is our practice, and we want to show you how you can do this kind of work"
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Austin student housing tower bends into shape

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Rhode Partners, an interdisciplinary design studio that unites architecture, interior design, and master planning, has recently completed a student housing project situated just outside the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. A soft curvature along the exterior envelope of the tower organizes the residential portion of the building along an asymmetrical linear grid, while custom-designed clothespin-shaped columns help transfer the load of the tower structure down into a parking garage below.
  • Facade Manufacturer Fabral (metal wall panels); American Fiber Cement (fiber cement wall panels); AMICO (garage screening); Thermal Windows (unit windows); Oldcastle (curtain wall)
  • Architects Rhode Partners
  • Facade Installer Texas 5th Wall, McInerney & Associates
  • Facade Consultants n/a
  • Location Austin, TX
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Cast-in-place concrete frame
  • Products 1/2-inch corrugated metal wall panels (Fabral); Minerit HD (American Fiber Cement); AMICO Apex 01 (garage screening); 4150 Series Thermal Windows (unit windows); Reliance by Oldcastle (curtain wall)
The design of the project was inspired by "avoiding stereotypes" of what typical apartment housing looks like, according to Brett Rhode, director of Rhode Partners. "We wanted to avoid the common L-shaped building scenario, so we developed a way to make a prominent widening of the footprint that gave us some interesting form to work with architecturally and also provided a way to increase the rentable square footage." The building envelope of the residential tower is constructed of light gauge non-load bearing metal framing with two cladding systems that respond to different areas of the building. The first is a rain screen system with a layer of mineral wool exterior insulation. Rainscreen materials vary from metal cladding to fiber cement and high-density laminate cladding. The other exterior cladding assembly was an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), which is employed in the curved sections of the primary facade. Below the tower sits a three-story parking garage podium that was clad with expanded aluminum sheet panels; these offer visual screening to parked cars. The panels are attached to horizontal tensioned cables, eliminating the need for a backup steel framework. This detailing, along with the modular panel size, offered an economical solution to the garage facade. One of the most recognizable elements in the building design is several projecting balcony elements that responded to the client’s program requirements of providing a select number of balconies for the building. The architects wrapped a cantilevered steel frame in perforated metal panels and used fiberglass gratings for flooring, treating the balconies as translucent figural shapes that project beyond the facade. Rhode said, "it seemed like an interesting opportunity to use them to enliven the facade. We turned them into objects that don’t immediately look like balconies.” A core focus of the Austin-based architecture firm is to integrate BIM and IES energy modeling on all of their projects, which span civic, multifamily, hotel, office, and retail markets. The project team for University House Austin was able to collaborate with the general contractor (Rogers O’Brian Construction) to develop an initial BIM model that was referenced throughout the construction of the project. “This was a big reason why we were able to get a more interesting facade within budget, “ said Rhode. “We also use digital fabrication techniques in our model shop, especially in the early design phases.” Rhode will be participating in Austin's upcoming Facades+AM conference, where he will be joining other local architects, engineers, and planners in a session titled “Austin’s Changing Skyline.” He will be focusing on the technological aspects of the envelope of one of their latest projects—The Independent—as they relate to aesthetics, energy usage, and cost. The event is part of a multi-city conference series on high-performance building enclosures. More information on Facades+AM, which organizes ten presenters into a three-session morning breakfast and networking event, can be found here
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Arthur Andersson on his approach to Austin high-rises

Austin, Texas is a hot place to be. In fact, according to Arthur Andersson, it's "hotter than the hinges of hell." The Austin-based architect is a principal at Andersson-Wise Architects and will be speaking at this month's Facades+ AM conference in the city. He spoke to The Architect's Newspaper (AN) about a recent Austin project, Block 21, and how he combated the city's climate.

Though its official name doesn't give much away, Block 21 incorporates a W Hotel, residences, retail, offices, and a recording studio for KLRU where the show Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater is filmed. The building was Andersson's first ever high-rise (Block 21 climbs to 37 stories) but the architect was committed to producing a "useful" rather than a "pure" building.

"Many architects would have put protruding balconies on both sides of the building," claimed Andersson, who instead, opted to recess some on one side. "I posed a question to the Mayor, 'do you ever see people on those north balconies?'" Mayor Will Wynn's response was predictably a "no." Subsequently, Block 21's balconies provide shade in the summer and let the sun in and heat condos in the winter. "None of the four are sides doing the same thing, they're all different and based on the sun’s position," Andersson added. "Recessing balconies is like giving the building sunglasses."

Another method of tackling Austin's climate was through color. "Here, for some reason, a lot of the taller buildings are either beige or brown—or at least they were," said Andersson. "All these colors made you feel hotter than you already are! In Austin the sky gets super blue, so we wound up with a color scheme that almost disappears into the sky."

"The second thing that we did, and we the first building in Austin to do this, was to use a curtain wall so the structure was all inside and you couldn't see any mullions. As a result, the glass can have a very minimal connection, you just see [a] sheer face." As for the rest of the facade, particularly at the base of the building where the recording studio is located, compressed cement panels from Swisspearl acted as a rainscreen and provided a matte finish—a contrast the reflective glass. 

Staying with the lower portion of the building, Andersson explained how Bill Zahner, president and CEO of A. Zahner Company, helped with the sheet metal work to create pre-finish weathered steel look for the car park, lobby, and base, which came across to Andersson as being like "ruins" when twinned with concrete.

Andersson will be speaking at Facades+ AM this July 18 in Austin. There he will discuss Block 21 in greater detail and joining him (albeit on a different panel) will be Anthony Birchler, vice president of engineering at A. Zahner Company.

Seating is limited. To find out more, please visit am.facadesplus.com.

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Austin is changing, but where’s it headed to next?

Anyone who keeps tabs on Austin, Texas's built environment on Twitter will be familiar with "#ATXrising." If its presence and frequency tell us anything, it's that Austin is on the up—literally. Is this a good thing? Tall buildings mean more density, which potentially means a more pedestrian-friendly city. In the 1970s, however, one man had other ideas about how to achieve this. Lauded as "Austin’s grandfather of New Urbanism," Sinclair Black envisioned a dense city populated by buildings no taller than six stories. Sinclair didn't like cars then, and he doesn't today. Interstate-35, which still carves up Austin's Downtown, is something Sinclair wants re-routed in order to reconnect the city. This is yet to happen and, likewise, his mid-rise dream has not been realized, as Arthur Andersson, principal at Austin-based Andersson-Wise Architects (the firm behind the 37-story mixed use hotel known as Block 21) can attest. Another Austin architect, Brett Rhode, principal at Austin-based Rhode Partners (the firm behind The Independent, a 58-story high-rise that will be Austin's tallest) also concurs. That said, density, or rather, faux-density, has emerged. Zoning requirements at Main Street, for example, stipulate that buildings wider than 150 feet should be made to appear like multiple buildings, each no wider than 100 feet. Often, this appearance is achieved through the building's massing or the facade. Black, Andersson, and Rhode will be talking in depth about Austin's changing skyline and touching on topics such as density and pedestrianization at Facades+AM Austin on July 18th. Also on hand at Facades+ will be Heath May, director of HKS LINE; Kory Bieg, principal at OTA+; and Anthony Birchler, vice president of engineering at Zahner. They will be engaging in a panel discussion on new techniques for facade fabrication. And because all the best things come in threes, a final panel will look at the constantly evolving relationship between engineers and architects. On hand to weigh in on the subject will be Chuck Naeve, founding principal of Architectural Engineers Collaborative, Gordon B. Bingaman, an associate principal at Antenora Architects, and Ken Jones, principal at Miró Rivera Architects. Seating is limited. To find out more, please visit am.facadesplus.com.
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Miró Rivera talks about the symbiotic relationship between architects and engineers

Engineers and architects. It can be a fickle relationship at times, stemming back to university where the typical back and forth between students arguing for their own self-importance. But, in the adult world, the relationship is seldom so tumultuous. Ken Jones, principal at Austin studio Miró Rivera Architects, was on hand to explain. Jones said how he had been working with engineer Chuck Naeve and his firm Architectural Engineers Collaborative, since the late 1990s, not long after the architecture firm had formed. "We have been working with him almost as long as we have been a firm," Jones noted. "It's hard for us not to think about structure when doing a project and Naeve has the same approach—he understands the role of the architect; it's not just about us designing the shape." This relationship came in handy when the pair worked on the Chinmaya Mission Hindu temple in Austin. Naeve worked with the architects to strategize the impact of budget constraints and how to integrate non-structural materials. For the building's elaborate skylight, galvanized piping (like what you would see on a chain link fence) was employed. "On the face of it, this is very mundane material, but we looked to see how it could be used structurally," said Jones. Below the skylight, a canopy of metal panels alternating in color (though of a similar tone) comprise the roofscape. In addition to this, a stone precinct wall of limestone slabs (each was individually sponsored as part of the fundraising effort) combined, as The Architect's Newspaper's Ben Koush put, "pragmatism and poetry." For another project in Austin, Life Works, Jones echoed Koush, pointing out how the "structural columns had a very poetic role" within the building. Jones also referenced a third project, the Vista Residence, and another dwelling involving a boat dock, which is currently under construction, due for completion this Fall. The Austin residence looks onto a river and is dominated by a boat dock, which, according to Jones, allows the "structure to be the architecture of the project and let every detail shine through." He and Naeve will be speaking about this and the other two projects on a panel at the upcoming Facades+AM conference in Austin this July. "The Vista Residence is a really good place to demonstrate how these architect-engineer projects pan out on the field," Jones explained, adding that the panel will look at the architect-engineer relationship in greater detail. To find out more about the Facades+ AM Austin conference and register, visit am.facadesplus.com. Seating is limited.
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Austin’s Torchy’s Tacos flagship location pays tribute to nostalgic diner

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Torchy’s Tacos' new flagship location is situated on the former site of Austin-based Fran’s Hamburgers who symbolized nostalgia for the archetypal Texas drive-in diner. The structure’s iconic red “X” and “Y” shaped columns pay tribute to Fran's which also featured a modernist red steel perimeter structure. 
  • Facade Manufacturer The Salinas Group (steel fabrication); Binswanger Glass (storefront); Empire Roofing (standing seam); Villa Lagoon Tile & Cement Tile Shop (encaustic concrete tile)
  • Architects Chioco Design
  • Facade Installer The Salinas Group (steel construction); Alamo Tile (reflectors & encaustic concrete tile); Binswanger Glass (storefront); Empire Roofing (standing seam)
  • Facade Consultants n/a
  • Location Austin, TX
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Steel frame with storefront glazing
  • Products Binswanger Commercial Glass Storefront, custom fabricated steel structure, standing seam roofing
Led by architecture firm Chioco Design, the project integrates structural, electrical, HVAC, and daylighting systems into an extruded roof profile that extends beyond the facade to establish a large outdoor dining area. The architects say this helped to connect inside with outside: “The bright red columns support a crenelated roof profile extruded through the entire building, seamlessly connecting inside to out, and allowing for the addition of numerous north-facing skylights which provide an abundance of consistent natural light.” The roof is clad in a standing seam metal that folds down the side elevation and alternates between two coated finishes. This subtly reinforces a striped color scheme that extends to the interior of the restaurant by means of red tinted glazing and carefully positioned aluminum storefront mullions. Chioco Design said the project prioritized material quality: “We typically like to choose durable materials that give us an opportunity to experiment with texture, pattern, and color. We are big fans of concrete, steel, and wood and look to use these materials in various forms. You can sense their weight and timeless qualities.” This emphasis on materiality might best be seen on the west elevation which is covered in red road reflectors to produce a dazzling effect. The unique material “emphasizes the eclectic character of the neighborhood,” according to Chioco Design, who had previously worked with the restaurant chain to develop a set of dynamic material palettes for renovations to other locations. Also of note are the installation of encaustic cement tiles, offering unlimited pattern and color options, thoughtfully used on both interior and exterior surfaces to delineate entry and queuing areas. The building is located along Austin's South Congress shopping and cultural district and is open for business. Wondering what's the best thing to order at Torchy's? The architects recommend not passing up on the queso and green chile pork tacos!
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The Contemporary Austin gets a striking new rooftop addition

In December of last year, New York–based Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis Architects (LTL) completed its renovation of The Contemporary Austin-Jones Center which, among other improvements, includes the freshly inaugurated Moody Rooftop pavilion. The $3 million dollar renovation responds to the enormous growth of the institution and its popular public programming as well as the increasing scale of Austin’s architecture. This project is one in a series of designs that the organization has commissioned in recent years including the ongoing master planning of its sculpture park at Laguna Gloria by Cambridge, Massachusetts–based landscape architecture firm Reed-Hilderbrand. Since the museum opened its downtown location in 2010, the roof deck has been a central feature of its public engagement strategy and often hosts outdoor film screenings and music performances. This upgrade allows The Contemporary to hold larger events with more control over the open air roof space. LTL designed a deceptively thin roof canopy that hovers 23 feet above the original structure with stark white curtains that can be drawn to enclose the space for year-round use. The museum also moved its administrative office to Laguna Gloria, thereby allowing for Jones Center to double its ground floor area for exhibitions and upgrade its mechanical systems to accommodate a more diverse range of art installations. The building is situated along Congress Avenue, Austin's central thoroughfare, with a direct view to the State Capitol, making the museum one of the city’s most visible cultural institutions. Coincidental with the re-opening of the museum was the installation of a text artwork by artist Jim Hodges that wraps the edge of the roof. The piece consists of 27 seven-foot-tall block letters reading “With Liberty and Justice for All” lit from behind and encased with iridescent mirrored surfaces. The eponymously titled piece is in the public gaze at all times and will reportedly remain in place for three years, though the architect re-designed the roof to potentially mount the letters permanently. Earlier this year, directly following the presidential inauguration, both the building and the art were the backdrop for the Women’s March in Austin, underscoring the social responsibility that cultural institutions have to shape a city’s identity. With cooperation between distinctive architectural design and timely public artwork, the museum aims to vault itself from a sometimes scrappy nonprofit to a growing powerhouse among national art institutions.
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Lake|Flato Architects designing a new home for the Holdsworth Center in Austin

In West Austin along the Colorado River, a 44-acre site has been suggested as a home for the Holdsworth Center—a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of state school education in Texas. The center will invite staff from six districts and work with Texas school district superintendents, principals, and administrators as part of the program.

At the time of writing, the project is currently going through planning, and a Planned Unit Development (PUD) application was submitted earlier this month to the city of Austin. Speaking to The Architect's Newspaper, Justin Garrison of Lake|Flato Architects, the San Antonio firm behind the scheme, said they were trying to "change the current zoning of single-family residential to make this project feasible in the future."

Of the large site, only half the land will be developed on while the rest of the natural landscape will be preserved. "The master plan aims to create an innovative retreat and educational center where users will be exposed to various collaborative learning and research opportunities within the facilities, as well as the freedom to engage the outdoors and surrounding landscape," said Garrison who added the design will "strive to be light on the land.... The Holdsworth Center aims to maintain the existing ecological zones on the site including the riparian and wetland edge along Lake Austin."

Along the waterfront is a thicket of cypress trees which visually separate the development from the water. Garrison explained further, describing how a few structures such as pavilions, day docks, and boat docks will protrude from the wooded riparian and upper bluff edges to give users 180 plus degrees of views overlooking the Pennybacker “360” bridge and surrounding hill country. "Within the project boundaries, the various buildings are located and oriented to frame various types and scales of open space, provide vistas across the natural meadow, allow a sense of the landscape, natural ecology, and water collection and treatment flow through the site, as well as provide optimal natural daylight within the buildings and solar energy collection," said Garrison.

Programmatically, the center will include an: educational learning center with classrooms and event spaces; administration offices for Holdsworth Center staff and visiting researchers; an academic village where users will be housed on site with a few casitas for extended stay users and various pavilions and day/boat docks (as mentioned above) to be used for educational, recreational and event purposes.

Austin-based Ten Eyck Landscape Architects are also working on the project. So far no dates for completion can be confirmed as the city is yet to vote on the PUD process. Lake|Flato also said they could not determine the project's cost.