The Understory by Arthur Lam

Located on Lake Austin Boulevard, The Understory serves as both a residency for local musicians and a venue where their art may be performed. In order to maintain the privacy necessary for a residency, the facility is broken up into three vertically distinct regions that serve three different programmatic roles.

At the ground level, a publicly accessible plinth allows its occupants to experience the veil of trees that are dispersed throughout the property, and it serves as a space that incites interest and curiosity for what lies between the dense foliage. In order to separate the residents from the general public, the designated living space sits on a grid of diagonal stilts that lifts it off of the ground, providing its occupants with private spaces and semi-public spaces where residents may establish and interact with a community of fellow artists.

Lastly, the performance area was designed to be a special underground space that its occupants stumble upon and discover rather than a glorified monument that visitors flock towards in order to prevent the overcrowding of the facility and to establish a stronger connection between the performers and the audience.

2021-2022 Design Excellence Award Winner

Arthur Lam
Architecture Intermediate Design III
Instructor: John Blood