Construction is officially underway on the $3bn, 66-acre master-planned Uptown ATX neighbourhood, whose public realm is designed by SWA/Balsley with Coleman & Associates. The new project will introduce workspace, multi-family, retail, hospitality, and a new Capital Metro Rail Station in the heart of Austin’s second downtown.
Uptown ATX will set a new benchmark for sustainable urban development and dynamic placemaking in Austin. What was once a single-use, auto-centric office complex will be transformed into a transit-oriented, mixed-use neighbourhood that further bolsters the burgeoning technology hub of Northwest Austin. Situated between the Charles Schwab campus and The Domain, Uptown ATX will feature 3.2 million ft² of workspace, 2.9 million ft² of multi-family units, 600,000 ft² of retail and hospitality, and 11 acres of public open space. The development will feature a new Capital Metro Rail station which recently broke ground, providing a critical mass transit connection to downtown Austin and the larger region.
SWA/Balsley, supported by Austin-based Coleman & Associates (collectively, the “SWA/Balsley team”), has been collaborating with Brandywine Realty Trust, Trammell Crow Residential, and a multidisciplinary team of designers, planners, and engineers on the public realm of Uptown ATX since 2019. The SWA/Balsley team is tasked with design and implementation of all the district’s streetscapes, seven public parks and plazas, and amenity terraces for two development blocks.
Together with the development, this robust public realm will establish Uptown ATX as a new regional destination to work, live, and play, and a place for all Austinites to share.
The SWA/Balsley team is currently involved with the following landscape projects within the complex that are in design or construction:
One Uptown (Block A)
Despite being two separate buildings designed by different architects, the SWA/Balsley team brought a singular landscape design expression to One Uptown, seamlessly integrating a variety of outdoor spaces for the diverse users of this mixed-use project. At the ground level, tree-lined streetscapes and bike lanes lead visitors to a co-working and dining courtyard along Burnet Road, and an intimate public park with a play lawn, serpentine seat wall, and hammocks. At the podium level, an expansive 40,000 square foot amenity terrace unites the office and residential towers, designed by Page Sutherland Page and GFF Architects, respectively, offering a rich array of amenities that take advantage of the mild year-round climate. One Uptown is currently under construction and will be completed in Autumn 2023.
The Chase at Uptown (Block F)
The Chase at Uptown will combine high-density urban living with generous public and private outdoor amenities serving 529 units. Pedestrian-oriented streetscapes lined with gardens and shade trees welcome residents and visitors alike, and a pedestrian passage between the two buildings provides a dog run while serving as a short-cut through the long block. A verdant and intimate public park features a massive relocated Live Oak tree along with landforms and a gently sloping lawn. Each building, designed by GFF Architects, features two private amenity courtyards for its residents. The “social courtyard” includes a pool, lounge areas, and dining areas with outward views. The inwardly-focused “quiet courtyard” offers lush gardens, intimate seating nooks, and contemplative spaces.
One and Two Skyrise (Block L)
The trio of open spaces at One and Two Skyrise will provide an exceptional collection of social spaces and recreational amenities to the densest development site at Uptown ATX, with architecture by Page Sutherland Page. Confetti Sports Park’s 1.4 acres feature a confetti-like arrangement of sports courts, all-age play spaces, and games surrounding a multipurpose lawn with amphitheater seating. The park will draw employees from the adjacent office tower as well as the many individuals and families that will call Uptown ATX home. Transit Plaza is designed to facilitate the diagonal movement of commuters and shoppers making their way between the new train station and Uptown Boulevard, the neighbourhood’s primary retail corridor. The plaza will be a bustling urban space with the flexibility to host public events such as markets, festivals, and performances. Overlooking Transit Plaza, Uptown Green is an elevated urban oasis inspired by Austin’s Hill Country.
Walnut Springs Lake Park
Spread across nearly 7 acres, Walnut Springs Lake Park is one of the signature open spaces of Uptown ATX. Its central water body functions as a combination detention/retention pond that captures, stores, and cleans much of the district’s stormwater runoff. Shaped by a complex set of regulatory constraints, the pond incorporates resilient features that can withstand periodic flooding during storm events, including wetlands. While most of the primary program spaces are situated above the flood plain, park users are invited down to a lower path when there is no flooding to engage with the water in closer range. The significant grade change is negotiated by a combination of steps, amphitheater seating, informal “scrambles” of monolithic limestone blocks, and universally accessible pathways. The pathways circumnavigating the pond link at the north of the site to a regional trail system, providing Uptown ATX residents and workers with access to nearly 23 miles of uninterrupted recreational trails.