aquatic project

The Austonian

The resort-style pool and spa in this project are constructed atop the 7th floor amenity deck of one of Austin’s tallest, and most monumental structures – The Austonian. In fact, at the time of its construction it was the tallest building in Austin. The building is located at the intersection of Congress Avenue and 2nd Street in downtown Austin, and is a residential tower with retail, offices and restaurants at street level.


Bryan Ziegler, founder of Aqueous, was the design engineer for the pools and water features on the project. He helped the design team determine sizes and shapes for the pools that would reflect the character of such an iconic building in downtown Austin.


It was determined that three separate bodies of water would be designed and constructed for the project. All of the water bodies are located on the 8th level amenity deck which is constructed above the parking garage of the building. The amenity level of the building also includes a dog park, outdoor grills, visual media stations, and shade structures.


The first of the pools on the amenity deck is a long, rectangular leisure pool positioned so it can easily be seen from the fitness center inside the building. The pool has been designed with a lap swimming lane for the residents who’d like to exercise in the pool and do so conveniently at their own home. This same pool also contains several tanning ledges for users who prefer to casually bathe in the warm Texas summer sun. Each tanning ledge has several bubbler jets that not only add visual interest to the pool, but also help keep the water cool and inviting all summer long.


The second body of water on the outdoor amenity deck is a warm water spa. The spa provides a great place for relaxation after a long workday, or a place to enjoy the massaging jets that provide gently rolling water throughout the spa. Surrounding the spa are several large, outdoor televisions as well as outdoor grilling areas which make this pool a wonderful place to socialize with friends.


The third aquatic feature on the amenity deck is a shallow water “sculpture fountain.” The fountain basin consists of a reflecting pool that holds only about three-inches of water. Inside the pool are three exquisite, metal sculptures crafted by a local Hill Country artist. This fountain is constructed of an entirely stainless steel basin. Water from this pool “disappears” into a narrow, stainless steel slot that wraps continuously around the perimeter of the pool. The water that spills into the slot is collected in a concealed chamber beneath the slot, and from there is filtered, treated and then returned to the fountain continuously.


Eco-uatic Note: The pools on this project are disinfected using a saline sanitizer system. The saline system utilizes rock salt and a process known as “electrolysis” to extract chlorine from the raw salt ions. One benefit of this system is the “softer” water that’s produced. Another advantage is the cost savings to the Owner as only rock salt needs to be purchased to disinfect the pool, as opposed to bulk quantities of harsh chemicals that are traditionally used as disinfectants.


(NOTE: This project completed by Bryan Ziegler while he worked outside the umbrella of Aqueous Engineering.)


LOCATION:Austin, Texas

TEAM:Ziegler Cooper Architects (Architect; Houston) TBG Partners (Landscape Architect; Austin)