Austin, and especially east Austin, is a unique place—rapidly developing, creating a distinguishable character for itself. With population density and programmatic designs expanding, there is a constant need to reimagine how we can envelope what we view as housing, transportation, and community engagement within the greater context of the city.
From Image of the City by Kevin Lynch, which the studio is loosely based on, the idea of a complex and interrelated community is mentioned to be an “environment that is geared to the appropriate cultural type, shaped in many ways so as to satisfy the varying demands of the individuals who inhabit it.” With our complex program ranging in variety, it is important within the program to establish formal qualities that construct this cultural environment.
Thus, we have approached the systemic and formal arrangement of the project using Lynch’s three vital qualities, “Formal Simplicity, Continuity, and Visual Scope.” These characteristics in unison create a sense of being. We have composed these as a formal structure that embodies our programs, formulated under an integrated skin that starts to turn the monolith into a landmark, composed of other landmarks within. A wrapped entity embodied with its vital organs—positioning itself as a landscape, inviting the surroundings under its skin.
Overall, this is our approach to a theoretical project with a unique and challenging program. We hope that our vividness of elements and their precise tuning to both functional and symbolic differences will help provide character. Each element then takes on a personality of its own creating this total persona, all while composed within the greater context of the site and East Austin.
2021-2022 Design Excellence Award Winner
William Hachtman and Thomas Palmer
Integrative Design Studio
Instructors: Jordan Sheets and Josh Leger