Leading Architect Behind New Meta Tower Gives An Inside Look at Austin’s Tallest Building Soon

garden in the sky. This is how Ed Moth, Gensler’s director in charge of the Sixth and Guadalupe project, describes the exterior on level 14 of the building.

It is a gathering space that will be lush landscaped and filled with different types of plants. It will also have seating areas and a small amphitheatre. It’s set to be an area for Meta employees to hang out and socialize once the tech giant moves in next spring.

As downtown grows with increased residential and office space, the impact of the tech industry in the area is becoming evident with Google’s sailboat tower as well as TikTok signing a lease in Colorado. How will the Sixth and Guadalupe shape Austin’s skyline?

For starters, it is expected to be the tallest tower in Austin when completed in 2023, standing at 66 stories. The deal with Meta, the parent company of Facebook, was signed on December 31, 2021 and is the largest downtown Austin lease ever, spanning 33 floors and 589,000 square feet. It will cater to some of the 2,000 employees who used to work in Austin. The social media giant also said it plans to add an additional 400 employees.

Moth told Estonia that the key to the project was making sure clients got everything they expected of him.

The soon-to-be residents, the first of which is expected to come in the summer of next year, will occupy an area of ​​level 34 above and can expect arcades, theater space and a garden on level 53 as well as some swimming pools. Those at level 66, Moth said, would be the highest pool deck in Austin.

The glamorous amenities are sure to catch the eye of people vying to move in, but other key design elements have been brought in through the Capitol Show Corridor.

“It’s been put in there to make sure we don’t obscure the views of the Capitol,” Moth said. “It’s kind of setting the rules for where we can build, where we can put a building, how we design, what a building looks like, how we put the square feet together in that building.”

One building for this project involved a team of about 20 people at Gensler, a global architecture firm based in San Francisco. They have worked with commercial developer Lincoln Property Company and residential developer Kairoi as well as about a dozen consultants, some of whom were in Austin and others in Dallas.

The downtown tower boom has been in the pipeline for some time. Moth said they’ve built a lot of confidence working with them over the past five years, with some of their work being done remotely during COVID-19. In the early days of the pandemic, downtown areas across the country — including Austin — saw low activity and both residents and workers headed to the suburbs and other areas of the city.

“It really rose into shape, as we see it today, during that time, and not many people were downtown,” Moth said. “So maybe some people were surprised when they came back downtown to say, ‘Wow, where did that come from?'” “

About two weeks ago, Moth paid a visit to the site, and noticed restaurants and retail that hadn’t existed before. Sixth and Guadalupe itself will include retail on the ground floor, adding to downtown growth even at sidewalk level.

“Just looking at the rooftop from the 14th floor, I think we counted five or six, maybe seven new construction sites located within the blocks of this project. The area is changing rapidly,” Moth said.

Exclusive: The architect involved in the new Google Tower in Austin outlines the considerations that led to a unique design

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