In April HKS announced its continued expansion into the Texas, specifically Austin, market with the opening of an office there. The studio, which supports a staff of 25, is led by Chi Lee and Brad Wilkins. Not only is HKS designing the Lone Star State’s tallest building, but this recent expansion makes it the largest design firm in the state. Everything really is bigger in Texas.
“We’re going to see others of this height throughout the city. I won’t be surprised to hear about more,” HKS Principal and Design Director Brad Wilkins told CNN. “We didn’t set out to be the tallest … That was really just the result of doing the best design possible.”
At 1,035 feet tall, the tower is a supertall, a distinction reserved for structures exceeding 984 feet (300 meters) in height. As the tallest building in town, views across the skyline will be basically unobstructed, except for one other building. When complete, HKS’s project will be joined by Waterline, an under-construction supertall from KPF that will clock in about 13 feet shorter than Wilson Tower.
Currently, in Texas’s capital city taking the crown for the tallest structures are 690-foot Independent (a.k.a. the Tetris Tower and Jenga Tower) and the 683-foot-tall Austonian, which hold the rank—but not for long—as the first and second tallest all-residential towers west of the Mississippi.
Terraces hide behind a brise soleil that wraps around both sides of a building, shielding residents from the Texas sun. Britt Design Group collaborated with the architects on the interiors, while Wilson Capital is the developer. Both firms are based in Austin.
The development, at East 5th and Trinity streets in Downtown Austin, is slated to break ground next summer.