The Chicon mixed-use project achieved a major milestone late last month when neighbors and community members gathered for a groundbreaking celebration in east Austin.
In the making for the past three years, h+uo architects is proud to be helping usher this important neighborhood revitalization project into reality.
The Chicon is the brainchild of the Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation (CNRC). CNRC resident members sum up the mission of this community-initiated project:
“With a mix of affordable and market rate homes, along with commercial spaces to foster economic growth, The Chicon is more than just a condominium development – it’s a manifestation of the legacy, culture and future growth of east Austin. One of the only affordable mixed-use condominium projects in such close proximity to downtown Austin, The Chicon aims to fit into and support the area instead of changing it, through positive, sustainable growth”
In Phase 1, two of the three buildings, The Joyce Building and the Gibbs Building, will be built at the intersection of 13th and Chicon St. in east Austin. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in December of 2016.
To learn more about this exciting project, visit thechicon.com.
Imagine tree-lined open space, a small performance pavilion, a splash pad water fountain, colorful flower beds, and a small food trailer eatery — all hovering over a stretch of Austin’s Interstate 35. h+uo partner Tom Hatch and associate Kristina Olivent are working in partnership with local landscape architects Jennifer Orr and Ilse Frank of Studio Balcones to make the I-35 Green Bridge Park a reality.
The current deteriorated state of the I-35 area surrounding the existing 11th and 12th street bridges inspired the idea that a new “living” bridge could connect the two existing bridges with an activity-filled park, stitching together our city, long divided by the interstate.
The new bridge-park will be situated directly between the Texas Capitol building to the west and residential neighborhoods to the east. This position allows the park offer a safe respite along what will be a new pedestrian corridor between the east and west sides of the highway. Additionally, the park’s amphitheater will create a new venue for small concerts and other events, turning a blighted area of town into an asset for the City of Austin.
While the project is an innovative solution to a long-standing Austin problem, creating a bridge that doubles as a park is not a new idea. Other cities have successfully and beautifully integrated parks into their highway systems. Two notable examples are the Jardin Serge Gainsbourg in Paris and the Clyde Warren Park in Dallas.
Jardin Serge Gainsbourg
Klyde Warren Park
While this project will be brought to Austin’s city council for support, the team proposes that the project also receive potential funding from the current TXDOT Interstate 35 revitalization project. With support from both the city and the state, Austin has the opportunity to create a new city-unifying park right in the heart of downtown.
2015 has started off with many new projects for h+uo. Here are a few of our latest under construction: