Austin, Texas, USA
Stretching 35 stories into the Texas sky, Block 185 by Pelli Clarke & Partners and STG Design is a striking new gateway to downtown Austin that celebrates the outdoors with landscaped terraces at every level that evoke a connection with the neighboring library.
Block 185 has recently been awarded a 2023 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture, Design, and Urban Studies.
The ground floor will be a bustling home for eclectic dining and retail, with an open lobby that offers access to the popular Second Street shopping and entertainment district.
The future home of Google’s Austin office, the new tower will also attract top talent in the region.
With a sweeping sail-like curve, the tower’s tapering form responds to challenging zoning requirements and neighboring bodies of water, with Shoal Creek to the west and the Colorado River to the south.
The pyramid envelope is carved and softened to create this elegant sail shape that sits within the envelope, minimizes stepping, and maximizes floor plate area.
The building’s ground level pulls back from the tower facade to create open plazas onto Shoal Creek and carries existing Shoal Creek materials and landscaping into the building’s public space.
Outdoor terraces at each level give a subtle impression of a sail billowing in the wind. The building’s shape allows for 20% amenity space, allowing for a vibrant live-work-play function for workers.
Each floor offers unrestricted 180-degree views with abundant natural light and solar-shaded glass to minimize the Texas heat.
Project: Block 185
Architects: Pelli Clarke & Partners
Design Team: Fred W. Clarke, William Butler, Jon Robert, John Lind, Ben Flaute, Ben Galtney, and Minu Lee
Executive Architects: STG Design, Inc.
General Contractor: DPR Construction Inc.
Client: Green Water Block 185, Trammell Crow Company
Photographers: Jason O’Rear