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Whole Other Country
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Shonda Novak, AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Thursday, May 11, 2006

World-renowned architects designing Austin high-rise
Tower at Fifth and Congress could be city's tallest.


A renowned architectural firm that created one of the world's tallest buildings is designing what could become Austin's tallest high-rise — a sleek, flared glass tower that would dramatically alter downtown's skyline.

The mixed-use tower being designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects is set to rise 47 stories on the northeast corner of Fifth Street and Congress Avenue, next to the 26-story Bank of America building. Senior principals Cesar Pelli and Fred Clarke and firm principal Bill Butler will lead the design team.

Austin developer Tom Stacy plans to break ground by mid-2007.

The City of Austin Planning Commission recommended a zoning change Tuesday that would allow Stacy to build a tower with more than 1 million square feet. Planning Commissioner Cid Galindo praised the project for its "vision and audacity."

The zoning request next goes to the City Council, which has the final say.

The Fifth & Congress tower — preliminarily named after its location — is one in a string of dramatic designs for the architectural firm.

The firm designed the landmark twin 89-story Petronas Towers in Malaysia, which soar 1,483 feet skyward. It was the tallest structure in the world when it was built in 1998. It's now the second-tallest.

Other projects designed by the New Haven, Conn.-based firm include the Museum of Modern Art and Museum Tower in New York, the 41-story Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo, the Reagan Washington National Airport and the 31-story Torre Libertad tower in Mexico City.

Both Clarke and Butler have Texas ties: Clarke is a graduate of the University of Texas' School of Architecture, and Butler is a San Antonio native and a Rice University graduate.

They, along with Cesar Pelli, also worked on projects at Rice University and the master plan for the UT campus.

For the Fifth & Congress tower, Stacy's instructions to the architects were straightforward: "Design me the prettiest building you can for this site," said Elizabeth Christian, a spokeswoman for Stacy.

Said Stacy: "These guys have been developing buildings for the past 20 years, and we have the opportunity to bring that experience, creativity and expertise to Austin."

Local architect Jack Tisdale of Susman Tisdale Gayle connected Stacy with Pelli Clarke Pelli, he said.

The result will be a high-rise that is "a world-class building molded to fit the culture, needs and desires of the Austin community," Stacy said. "This is not New York City, Malaysia or Hong Kong. The project has to embrace the vision of the community for that location." Preliminary designs call for the tower to rise up to 700 feet, housing 925,000 square feet of condominiums, retail space and offices or a hotel. The building could be in a rivalry for the title of the city's tallest: another developer plans a condominium tower several blocks away that also could be up to 700 feet tall.

Stacy plans 180 to 200 condominiums priced at $500 to $600 a square foot, putting the average unit, 1,150 square feet, at up to almost $700,000 — in line with many of downtown's newer condos. The condos will be on the tower's top floors, starting above the height of the Bank of America building.

Included in the project is a 12-story parking garage with 1,200 spaces at Fifth and Brazos streets. Stacy hopes to start construction on it later this year. Even though it is recommending approval of the tower, the Planning Commission postponed action on the garage to ex- plore concerns raised by residents of the nearby Brazos Lofts.

Stacy said he is considering putting moderately priced apartments atop the garage, although that may not be economically feasible because of downtown's high land prices.


The proposed 47-story high-rise for the northeast corner of Fifth Street and Congress Avenue would sit between the 26-story Bank of America building and the Frost Bank Tower.


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Whole Other Country
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
HELP! Oooops I think I post it on wrong forums, it need to post on Highrise News and Developments

Sorry!
 

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Very good proposal!
 

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We need much taller buildings in Austin but to be honest I don't really like this design. It looks like it's gonna tip over. :(
 

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Awesome stuff... time for Austin to move into the big league with a genuine 500ft+ tower .. just hope the design ends up complementing FBT which is such a focal point now..
 

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Whole Other Country
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is another look:


And thanks to Greenbelt over at the SkyscraperPage, here is how Austin will look like in 2008:


very cool
 

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Is it an optical illusion or is the buiding's top wider than the mid level "base?" I wish I could say that I love this tower but maybe it has to grow on me. I love the Frost Bank tower from the beginning but this new tower is nice and tall for Austin but looks too weird and too damn skinny.
 

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Frost building? is that the one which looks like an owl? i saw a program a few weeks ago about conspiracies about the illumanate (not sure if that is the right spelling). i remember seeing how it looks like the owl, the symbol of the illumanate. very interesting as its right where the supposed HQ of this organisation is and also where all the conspiracy people live, what a cool place to live.
 

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Agent Vengence said:
Frost building? is that the one which looks like an owl? i saw a program a few weeks ago about conspiracies about the illumanate (not sure if that is the right spelling). i remember seeing how it looks like the owl, the symbol of the illumanate. very interesting as its right where the supposed HQ of this organisation is and also where all the conspiracy people live, what a cool place to live.
lol, well austin has a lot of weirdos. Great addition to the skyline, i think it suits austin well
 
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