Jan 25, 2022 - News

Two Austin sites named national architecture finalists

A photo of a building in Austin

Photo courtesy of Paul Bardagjy/American Architects

A couple of Austin buildings are vying for some love on the national stage.

Driving the news: Two Austin structures are in the running for the title of 2021 U.S. Building of the Year by American-Architects.

Details: Eastside Design Studio, a former pawn shop converted into an office and retail space, and ARRIVE Hotel at East Sixth and Chicon streets are two of 44 finalists. You can vote here until Jan. 30.

Flashback: Eastside Design Studio, designed by Dick Clark + Associates, turned a 10,300-square-foot concrete and windowless pawnshop dating back to the 1980s into a sustainable space.

  • The architects call it an "adaptive reuse project," meaning the design prioritizes "the existing structure within a changing neighborhood to preserve energy and character."

The ARRIVE Hotel in East Austin, designed by baldridgeARCHITECTS, retained a century-old, one-story brick building by converting the space into an 83-room lodging with two restaurants, three bars, a coffee shop, leasable retail space and parking.

Photo courtesy of Casey Dunn Photography/American Architects
  • The architects were initially approached in 2014 by Brian and Bree Carrico regarding a smaller hotel in East Austin, approximately 1 mile from ARRIVE Hotel's location.
  • But it "became clear that community forces did not welcome the project," and the clients later teamed up with the owners of ARRIVE Hotels — a new operation with a single location in Palm Springs.
    • ARRIVE hoped to create a chain that worked within robust neighborhoods, using local artisans and paying living wages throughout the construction process.

For the design, the architects said they looked to building and material typologies that existed in surrounding warehouses and the masonry and concrete construction found at Huston Tillotson University.

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