h+uo BLOG

Category: Uncategorized

Ribbon-Cutting Celebrated at Sparky Pocket Park

Posted in Uncategorized by Kristie
April 22, 2016

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Nestled off a quiet street in Austin’s Hyde Park neighborhood, the newly rehabilitated historic building at Sparky Pocket Park opened its doors to the public last week with a bang. Austin mayor, Steve Adler, and district 9 representative, Kathie Tovo, spoke at the ceremony on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, where they cut the ribbon. Neighborhood leaders Mary Ingles and Douglas Plummer also helped kick off the evening soiree.


The celebration was to commemorate the completion of the last phase of Sparky Pocket Park, rehabilitating the historic building on site. Built in the early 1930s, this historic building served as a North Austin Electric Substation until it was decommissioned in the early 2000s.  Neighborhood leaders worked hard to keep the plot of land and salvage the building, with the vision that it might someday serve as a neighborhood park and community space, administered by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department.


hatch + ulland owen architects designed the project, and with close assistance from the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department, neighborhood residents, and general contractor Warden Construction, saw the project through completion.


The rehabilitation updates include a new accessible bathroom, a long steel-supported counter top in the main space with a sink, chair and table storage, air-conditioning, lighting, refurbished historic windows, and freshly painted surfaces. Additionally, the most noticeable update to the building is the 20-foot long opening cut in the brick wall to accommodate a new folding glass door system. The doors can be opened up fully to connect the building to the park. To complete the gesture, hatch + ulland owen architects’ senior partner, Tom Hatch, FAIA, designed a handsome awning structure over the area where the new doors empty into the park. The space under this large awning was designed to accommodate small theater events, evening dinners with friends, and a variety of neighborhood gatherings.


The awning features an exposed galvanized steel structure, a cypress wood ceiling, lighting, and high steel columns topped by glass plate ‘finials’ which light up at night. The glass plates are resistors, which are elements typically used for power-lines. They were incorporated into this community project as a nod to the park’s namesake, thought of by local residents because the electrical substation equipment used to spark during electrical storms.

hatch +ulland owen architects is proud to have been a part of this very special project.

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Austin’s Community First Village

Posted in Uncategorized by Kristie
April 10, 2016

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HOPE Chapel is a micro-chapel serving the Community First Village, a 27-acre non-profit development of micro-homes created for the homeless population of Austin. Our architect, David Carroll, was honored to be part of the project.

The Chapel is wrapped with continuous metal panel sheets in a tent-like form, resembling the ancient Tabernacle.  On the gable ends, translucent Polygal panels allow diffused sunlight to enter the space; creating a soft meditative light. At night, these panels transform the Chapel into a glowing lantern; guiding residents to the space.

With the ability to house a total of 250 residents, the Community First Village is projected to reach full capacity early next year.

You can read more on the Community First Village through HUFFINGTON POST or on KVUE.


Arbutus Cove Q and A

Posted in Uncategorized by Kristie
April 5, 2016

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As one of our latest speculative single-family residential projects, Arbutus Cove, goes underway, we catch up with one of the design team members, Kelly Stephenson for an update.


  1. Tell us your role in the project.

I am part of the design team headed by Partner-in-Charge Erik Ulland. Devanne Pena, who did the amazing 3-D renderings, is also on the team.


  1. In what stage is the project?

The project is about to be under construction as a speculative home and is now on the market.


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  1. Please provide details of the house and any unique features.

This is a six bedroom, six-and-a-half bathroom home on a sloping, cul-de-sac property in a Westlake neighborhood. The steel staircase is going to be a major focal point. It is integrated into the design of the masonry fireplace, and will be lit from above with skylights.


  1. What are you most looking forward to with this project?

It is a very dramatic site with lots of terracing so we are eager to see it take shape. We are also excited to be working with the builder and Camelot Custom Homes. The panoramic views are going to be incredible – Lake Austin and the Pennybacker Bridge will be visible from the living room windows.


  1. What is the next step?

The site is steep and heavily wooded, so a lot of site work will need to take place first.  The next step will be close collaboration with the builder during the construction phase, giving guidance and feedback on detailing and materials and finishes, especially on the stone.


Oakwood Chapel Rehabilitation

Posted in Uncategorized by Kristie
March 23, 2016



As a local architecture firm, a significant portion of our work involves development in our city. Every once in a while, the City hires us for a preservation project.


A recent article by Curbed.com looks at Austin cemeteries, not just through a preservationist lens, as historical relics, but within the framework of urban progress, as community enhancements for the present and beyond.


Charles Melanson, the Project Architect for hatch + ulland owen architects, is taking on the issue in his latest project at the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel Rehabilitation. A project that consists of asking what the role of a cemetery is in an urban environment.


By finding financially stable ways to repair the Oakwood Chapel, we are able to play our part in saving this cemetery while allowing the city to continue preparing for the future.


To read more from Curbed CLICK HERE.


Project Progression in Photographs

Posted in Uncategorized by Kristie
January 18, 2016


We are happy to announce that the Oak Point Park Nature and Retreat Center is now open to the public in Plano, Texas.  This 20,000sf building is the centerpiece of Oak Point Park, Plano’s largest municipal park.

Behind the entrance colonnade, the interpretive Visitor’s Center features stone walls, polished concrete floors, and exposed steel-and-wood roof trusses, which support a monumental butterfly roof.

The Center has begun hosting corporate retreats, parties, and educational programs in its four meeting rooms. These have an elegant-rustic aesthetic, with high wood wainscots and massive stone fireplaces. For indoor / outdoor events, they open onto a trellised arcade, overlooking the Center’s lawn and the lake beyond.

The iconic ‘lighthouse’ tower stands 45 feet tall, and can be seen from all across the park. Inside, custom light fixtures showcase the load-bearing sandstone masonry and the unique radial wood ceiling.

Plano’s Parks and Recreation department has moved into the east wing of the building, and the staff is enjoying their high wood ceilings, natural light from clerestory windows, and beautiful views from their office windows.

h+uo is proud to have been the architect for this remarkable project.


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