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Design for Texas’ tallest tower unveiled by KPF

Image courtesy of Atchain/KPF
US architect Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) has unveiled its design for what will become Texas’ tallest tower, the 1,022ft, 74-storey mixed-use Waterline in Austin.

Waterline will contain luxury apartments on the top 33 storeys, 27 storeys of Class-A office space, 1 Hotel Austin will occupy the bottom 14 floors, and a 24,000 sq ft public ground-floor complete with shops and restaurant.

The design of Waterline uses sculptural columns to lift the tower’s base 30ft above street level to create a two-storey canopy and a public “paseo” that connects the building to the waterfront and will serve as a gathering space. Its form also undulates in response to the curves of the neighbouring Waller Creek.

James von Klemperer, KPF’s president, said: “Our design for the tallest tower in Texas is very much a response to the project’s specific site in Austin.

“First, the building is integrated with the river landscape of Waller Creek, its base featuring a forest of tilted columns perched over a cascade of plants and trees. Nature and architecture are intertwined. 

“Second, the blend of uses inside the building reflects the non-conformist urban culture of its surroundings. Office, residential, hotel, retail and wellness facilities all come together to form a vertical neighbourhood where shared public spaces encourage chance encounters. The facades of the building express this collection of functions as a collage of varied patterns. The project promises to become an icon for Texas’ capital city, expressing its spirit of quirky innovation.”

Andrew Klare, KPF’s director, added: “To achieve a successful mix of programme and planning ideas, we leveraged the unique character of the waterfront and the Rainey District.

“Sculptural columns draw inspiration from sacred species of trees in Austin, while native stones and landscaping speak to the character of the creek across the site to Red River Street. With the spirit of the place set, mixed-use programme requirements needed to be thoughtfully placed to create hierarchy of space and activity.”

The tower is being built on behalf of Texas real estate developers Lincoln Property Company and Kairoi Residential, alongside Canadian government company PSP Investments.

Waterline is targeting LEED Gold certification.

Vertical construction on the project will begin in December 2022, with topping out due in August 2025 and completion in mid-2026.

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