01 Aug Downtown Development Digest | Block 185
The new Google building will likely become a signature tower of the Austin skyline. The currently unnamed building is designed by internationally renowned “starchitect” Pelli Clarke Pelli. To achieve the title of starchitect, you’ve presumably got to design a lot of buildings considered iconic by the general public. This new building’s plan of a curved glass wall and tapered structure allows outdoor terraces on every level, creating the overall effect of a sail eternally catching a breeze from the lake across the street. It’s hard not to be excited about this tower’s look, which is immediately striking and pushes the boundaries of what we might expect from our growing skyline. The tower will have 793,883 square feet of office space—enough for about 5,000 people—and will include standard tech-company perks: a fitness center and recreation areas, lounges, kitchen and dining areas, conference centers, a bar/tavern, and, surely, more. Its 1,327 parking spaces will be on lower floors, with some of it underground. Google, which currently occupies a 29-story tower on another tract of the redevelopment site east of the new building site, has about 800 employees in Austin. While the upper floors of the new building will be occupied entirely by Google offices and parking, the structure will relate to its surroundings in a variety of ways. Retail businesses will occupy its ground floor, and its large, open lobby will provide access to the Second Street retail and entertainment district. The building also will have a plaza along Shoal Creek with bicycle and pedestrian access connecting West Cesar Chavez and West Second streets.