nland surf park
October 6, 2016
fairmont austin
June 13, 2016

sxsw headquarters

austin, texas


dwg. is serving as the landscape architect for the new SXSW Headquarters in Austin, Texas. The project scope includes the tower’s entry plaza, level 13 roof terrace, rain gardens, complex permitting and heritage tree preservation. The entire landscape and architectural design strategy accommodates the existing heritage trees and offers a detailed sensitivity to their critical root zones and soil needs.

The main entry plaza features limestone paving which is varied in finish, shifting course based on the directional flow of pedestrian movement. This creates a faceted effect in the paving transitions. A portion of the entry walkway is cantilevered over the walls of the main entry rain garden. Trench drains are designed into the shifting paving course to drain water into the rain garden. The main entry rain garden includes granite walls, filtration media, native plantings and stone aggregate beneath the cantilevered walkway.

The cantilevered edge of the main walkway features a long, curvilinear custom railing that allows pedestrians to peer into the rain garden. On the opposite side of the walkway, the project features an ipe deck with steel framing where visitors can sit under two of the site’s protected Oak trees. The deck has been graded to prevent any conflict with the existing tree canopy and critical root zone. On the 14th Street side of the tower, a rain garden is located mid-block with an elevated wood terrace. The final rain garden is located west of the elevated terrace, located partially under the limestone paved ADA accessible ramp.

The roof terrace at level 13 boasts incredible downtown views, and features over 2,000 SF of space for tenants to enjoy outdoor meetings and social gatherings. The plan includes a unique, custom shade structure.

The streetscape is modeled after the City of Austin Great Streets program. dwg. is working closely with the City to include a soil extension system called Silva Cells in the furniture / tree zone. This area includes long planting beds, which allow great soil volume for trees and plants. The Silva Cells are placed beneath porous paving in these sections, allowing roots to extend beneath porous paving areas. This area also features a specialty soil mix aimed at providing the most beneficial nutrition for plants.

The project is currently under construction.

Renderings courtesy Gensler Architects.


  • Owner: CZ Properties
  • Design Architect: Pei Cobb Freed
  • Architect of Record: Gensler
  • Civil Engineer: Jones | Carter
  • Structural Engineer: Walter P. Moore
  • Arborist: Bartlett Tree Experts
  • Sustainability Specialist: CMPBS