Austin, Texas, United States
“It could be the most radical activation of a downtown block we’ve seen in quite a while”.
Located in the heart of downtown Austin, 200 West 6th Street revises an entire city block. According to a local publication, it will add height and much-needed office and residential space to the downtown core in the form of a strikingly-designed tower, while simultaneously accommodating the existing historic former post office building on the site and improving that structure’s utility to the public by offering retail and food hall space.
Perhaps most important to providing character and connectivity with the area is the new plaza, which will add needed green space for leisure and activities to downtown. It will connect the commercial environment of the tower with potential cultural, recreational and retail activities in the context of the open space.
- Building Sciences
- Corporate / Commercial
- Housing / Hospitality
Reaching for the stars
The project is exceeding its targets for LEED Core & Shell v4 Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council as well as an Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) commercial 3-Star rating. A holistic approach to water management has been employed with water capture and reuse to reduce demand for potable water and retaining most stormwater onsite.
Preserving Yesterday for Today's Use
The Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall, originally constructed in 1914 as the 7th US post office in Austin, will be carefully engaged by the office building and on-site urban park to help preserve Austin’s rich history. The scale of the hall humanizes the adjacent plaza.
Reducing environmental impact
The project includes significant collection and reuse of water on the site, the adaptive reuse of the historic post office and addition to improvements in the concrete mix design for the tower. This collectively resulted in a 20% reduction in embodied carbon over conventional practices. 85% of rainwater is managed onsite eliminating the need for potable water for onsite water needs.
Creating An Urban Destination
The base of the new tower is highly transparent, soaring up to 35 feet in the main lobby to allow full visibility of the Post Office’s east façade. Connectivity between the tower, post office and urban plaza will integrate the building into street life and add value to the downtown community.
The office floors include deliberately proportioned floor plates to allow for efficiency in space planning, penetration of natural light, and maximized views, which are proven to contribute to mental wellness. Direct access to the plaza’s green space also provides connectivity with nature. Materials with health and environmental transparency have been prioritized.
Adding to the skyline
The tower’s sculpted design tapering at the corners will maximize daylight and views and allow it to become an easily recognizable form on the Austin skyline. The envelope design is optimized for building performance with articulated solar fins on the west façade providing shading elements that improve the thermal and environmental performance of the building.
By the numbers
- 730,000 SQUARE FEET OF OFFICE SPACE
- 1,482 PARKING SPACES
- 100% OUTDOOR WATER FROM NON-POTABLE SOURCES
- 20% OVERALL REDUCTION IN EMBODIED CARBON
“[The design] is grounded in data about how people behave and how we can set them up for success in the environment we are creating.”