Austin is a city that celebrates both work and play, with an emphasis on outdoor urban culture. Austinites self-identify as both casual and sophisticated, blending rugged, ranch-style charm with evolving modalities in arts and tech culture. 44 East Avenue is uniquely placed at the edge of these balanced opposing forces. As a firm focused on Urban Architectural Landscapes we see 44 East Avenue as a project that celebrates all of Austin’s dualities.
The site sits between the Rainey Street Cultural District and the Butler Hike and Bike Trail, which circles Austin’s Ladybird Lake. To celebrate this adjacency, dwg. designed a landscape that pairs the crunchy gravels of the hike and bike, with a carpet of elegant granite paving. The Landscape is anchored by a 1,800 square foot Urban Plaza at the corner of East Avenue and Cummings Street. The plaza was carefully coordinated with the design team to preserve a large heritage Oak tree, and features custom reclaimed oak furniture, a rainwater-fed reflecting basin, and diverse native planting.
At the residential building entrance on East Avenue, granite pavers elevate the entry experience and speak to the building’s urban interface. Innovative structural soil cells installed under the sidewalk support both the pavers and the Mexican Sycamore root systems, allowing for a shaded entry. A rideshare dropoff was carefully coordinated with the City of Austin.
On Level 11, lushly planted amenity terraces are designed to be the residents’ backyard. A 45-foot diameter circular pool, which pays homage to Central Texas’ iconic swimming holes, is posed above Lady Bird Lake offering remarkable views of the lake and Austin’s growing downtown.
To further celebrate the site’s adjacency to the lake, the design achieves a high level of sustainability and low-impact design. Onsite rain gardens treat 100% of stormwater collected on the building. The exclusive use of native and adapted plants allow for high efficiency irrigation and ensure a 75% reduction of water over a conventional landscape. Existing onsite heritage trees were protected, while those that had to be removed are being milled to create on-site furniture.
image: model of 44 East Avenue’s Level 11 Pool Deck
This project exemplifies many of our firm’s guiding principles. As with all of our highly urban, on-structure projects, the success of 44 East Avenue stems from our close collaboration with consultants, craftsmen, and contractors. Our continued focus on craftsmanship can be seen in the fine detailing of custom benches on Level 1 and Level 11. The concept of community has been a driving force throughout the design of 44 East. The ground floor’s urban plaza provides a place for the public to rest in the shade of a heritage live oak and Level 11 is designed to be the social center of the building’s community.
The concept of Home is an important one at dwg. Home is what keeps us engaged in Austin’s community and keeps us working towards better, more sustainable growth. We hope that our guiding principles and design ethos will help to create a home for the future residents of 44 East.