A couple of weeks ago we had the chance to visit The Independent, the tallest skyscraper in Austin, Texas. Located on West 5th by the Seaholm District, we were able to get a quick deep-dive into its development and how this building will evolve Austin’s skyline. Special thanks to Tim FitzGerald, Quality Control Manager for Balfour Beatty US, for giving us a site tour.
Striving for LEED Gold this residential high-rise will be home of 370 high-end condos with amenities that include: infinity edge heated pool, ‘sky’ fitness center, yoga and barre studio, 25-person theater, business center, board room, conference rooms, owner’s lounge, chef’s and catering kitchen, private dining space, children’s activity room and playground, dog park with grooming station and lounge, club room and coffee bar, landscaped outdoor lounge with fireplace, and even guest suites for those unexpected out of town family visits.
The Independent began its construction in 2016 and is expected to be finished early 2019. We explored different areas of the building and how construction techniques are being implemented in order to accomplish the unique design by Rhode Partners.
One of the first things we noticed were the design of the steel trusses with shear connectors and #18 rebar. These steel trusses were fabricated out of Houston, TX Milestone Metals.
Supporting the impressive cantilever ‘Jenga’ floor design are Macalloy rods to give way for beautiful unobstructed views of Austin and the central Texas landscape. The angled Macalloy rods create the primary structural support system while the vertical supports are secondary redundancy. All of these will be primed, painted, and exposed for a sleek, industrial look.
Travelling up to 54th floor, which is the highest residential floor, was a bit scary until we reaped the reward with the most amazing scenery and views of our beloved city and state.
This American Architecture Prize winning building, has the most spectacular views of Austin from all of the floors we were able to visit. It was hard to pick our favorite one until we able to see our office building from the top (shown in the last image of the different views’ collage).
The 9th floor will be home of many of the buildings amenities including the club room and infinity-edge heated pool that will overlook Lady Bird Lake and the Austin Central Library. This will be a perfect background for pool parties and Saturday margaritas.
The 34th floor will certainly be visited by the residents often. This floor is equipped with the business center, work spaces, fitness center and residents’ lounge to complete the day to day activities.
In spite of the strong winds and high altitude effects some of us experienced afterwards, we are honored to receive a sneak peek into this iconic building and witness the hill country vistas at its best. We can’t wait for the final result and visit again once it’s completed.