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Zilker Studios

Austin, TX

The site for Zilker Studios was lucky enough to contain two heritage live oaks, but building 110 units for single adults on the ½ acre site, while preserving their natural growth, presented challenges. To retain and highlight the site’s natural features, we conceptualized a place of repose nestled between the oak trees—in other words, a hammock—brought to life in the form of a breezeway. Utilizing the breezeway, we connected open spaces surrounding both trees and communal environments to establish the breezeway as a place where residents congregate and interact. The breezeway is punctuated vertically by a hole in the building’s concrete podium, a feature we refer to as the podium oculus or ‘pod-oculus,’ which connects the vertical circulation of the residential floors to the public spaces and allows natural light to penetrate deep throughout the project. This extremely energy-efficient and cost-optimized supportive housing project by Foundation Communities achieves net zero ready status through a variety of deep energy means that were studied with Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) via their custom targeting protocols. Zilker Studios is also pursuing an AEGB 5-Star rating.

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