Austin's "Fareground" proves a winner
Landscape architects dwg. have won the 2018 Texas ASLA Merit Award for “Fareground at One Eleven Congress” in Austin.
The park and marketplace was transformed last year from an under utilised plaza into a new downtown heart for Austin. The One Congress Plaza building has had its exterior updated, and at nearly one acre, dwg.’s development provides an oasis from the busy streetscape, allowing the old office building to compete with the city’s newer ones.
A rolling lawn planted with oak trees is complemented by the planting of both native and adapted species. This lawn is synthetic in the densely shaded areas, reducing both the maintenance costs and water usage.
An ADA ramp not only allows for universal accessibility, but immerses visitors in the natural environment of Fareground from the moment they enter the park.
Concrete walks, plazas and stairs are accented by locally-made, custom metal works, and new and existing walls have been clad in reclaimed, locally sourced granite, effectively integrating the old building into the new design.
A variety of seating is included to allow for different uses. Custom fixed wooden benches and decking are supplemented with mobile furnishings making Fareground an entirely flexible environment.
Cloudscape, a sculptural water feature, atomises water through 12 tall, slender pylons, creating clouds from water collected from the building’s air conditioning condensation.
Also featured is a custom shade structure called Nimbus, which creates dappled light through its patterned canopy, and folds in response to the angular geography of the site.
dwg.’s creation blurs the line between public and private spaces, creating a park and marketplace to be enjoyed both by those in the One Congress Plaza building and the general public. Their design provides an attractive and lively new outdoor destination for downtown Austin.