The individual buildings are arranged in checkerboard fashion and unified
by all-wooden interiors reflective of the local barn and porch vernacular
and Austin’s general lifestyle. The city’s culture for living out of doors, at least
as much as in them, is echoed as well in eight open courtyards that connect
the buildings and serve as outdoor living rooms for public enjoyment.
The development of this entertainment complex is forward thinking at every
turn. As large scale as it may be, the District is meant to complement, not
disrupt, the existing community. The very layout of space and lines of the roof
panels reflect the angles and intersections found throughout the Jefferson Grid,
and the District’s entrances have been located at its four corners to seamlessly
tie into the existing road network. And, the dramatic latticed roofscape is
much more than an interesting design feature. Serving as protection from
the Texas heat and the elements in general, the rooftop also is covered in red
photovoltaic panels that have the potential to someday allow the self-sufficient
District to actually share its energy resources with the surrounding community,
potentially powering East Austin’s electricity and its economy as well.
“Embracing Austin’s local character and culture, the East Austin District
is a single destination composed of many smaller structures under one roof,”
says Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of BIG. “Part architecture, part urbanism,
part landscape—the East Austin District is the architectural manifestation
of collective intimacy.”
Collaborators for the overall project include Walter P Moore, STG Design,
BIG Engineering, BIG Landscape, and BIG Ideas.
The East Austin District
is part architecture, part
urbanism, part landscape.
(Images: BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group)