[ Austin, Texas ]
TOWN LAKE @ MOPAC
The intersection of Town Lake and MOPAC is an existing way station, a transition from city life to the heart of Austin’s outdoor community through the hike-and-bike trail. Caught between two strong directional systems—one (the lake) fl owing, cool, natural and one (the highway) heavy, fi gural, infrastructural—this linear volume has its own unique spatial quality worthy of design study.
Town Lake @ MOPAC seeks to augment that intrinsic quality by re-conceptualizing the underutilized ground plane as a series of occupiable zones. On both sides of the water, curvilinear steel canopies (“umbraculos”) inspired by the mature canopy of trees along the lake shade the open ground fl anking the expressway. North of the lake, a series of terraces terminating at a beach front (Austin Playa) hosts activities from volleyball to a zip-line.
The pedestrian bridge becomes an armature for living systems, with vines providing shade and spatial enclosure to users. Meanwhile, vertical wind towers rising up between the northand southbound lanes of the expressway announce the project to commuters. The line between nature and infrastructure becomes blurred as each spills into the other, augmenting this interstitial space as a unique threshold in Austin’s urban fabric.