The Slice at East Austin | Austin, TX | Spring 2015
An ever growing population brings along many challenges, especially at the heart of major cities. This project explores how to revitalize an overgrown, forgotten post-industrial area, creating a habitable space that provides much needed housing in an increasingly dense urban context.
Similar to previous semesters, this semester began with an intense round of site mapping and analysis. Illustrated are the topographical conditions of the site through contour lines as well as serial sections throughout the area.
An additional aspect that was considered in site analysis was the remaining pervious cover in the area. Since the project was to redevelop an area of East Austin, a large amount of emphasis was placed on creating and preserving green space in order to reestablish the natural aspect of the land.
In the open site of the Saltillo District of East Austin, a large “central park” was proposed in order to provide a transition zone between Downtown Austin, commercialized E. 6th. Street, and the residential areas of East Austin. Most design decisions were based on linear connections between existing landmarks in the area. These connections were used to influence form, views, circulation, etc.
The site plan illustrates the final proposal for urban development on the site. In the center of the plan are the proposed green spaces and community landmarks, a public library and a concert venue. Surrounding this flat expanse of green landscape is the proposed residential areas, placing the “living” program about the edge of the “living” site in the center.
Moving to the final project of the semester, the Residential Complex, a series of thesis diagrams were created in order to illustrate the grid system used to organize the project. Using the connection lines set up in the Urban Strategy project in combination with lot lines proposed by the City of Austin, a grid was formed and used as a basis for division of the project into individual residential units.
Starting with the grid system of lot lines, the study plans demonstrate a first pass at the division of the floors into distinct living units. The early model focused on illustrating the major circulation throughout the project and the different facade treatments based on exterior and interior program.
The finalized set of floor plans show the structural grid of the project, as well as the division of units and major horizontal and vertical circulation. The detail plans show individual units with key indicators showing their location within the overall project.
The final model for the Slice at East Austin shows the major fenestration, major circulation, material selection, and overall organization of the project. The final design features a six floor, low-rise apartment complex with mixed commercial spaces on the first floor. Based on the connection lines from the beginning of the semester, the overall form of the building is divided into two cores sliced by a shared alley used for outdoor dining and neighborhood gathering, primarily inspired by the guidelines set up at the beginning of the Urban Development project earlier in the semester.