Aqueous Engineering is proud to be part of the constant evolution and growth of the State of Texas’ capital city! We were contracted to design several resort-style pools, spas and fountains at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Austin. The luxurious Fairmont is located directly east of the Austin Convention Center; in fact, an architectural footbridge that connects the two iconic structures.
The 7th floor amenity deck provides several attractions designed by Aqueous Engineering. Upon exiting the building, patrons walk along a path lined with 30-ft tall palm trees. Along the path, and among the palms, is an infinity edge fountain that provides bubbling water, and the peaceful, serene sounds of water splashing that quickly makes it apparent this is a location for rest and relaxation. Beyond the fountain courtyard patrons are invited to swim in either of two large resort pools that are separated by a land bridge of stone pavers. Both pools have a large tanning ledge feature that is perfect for lounging in the waters of the resort. The 7th level amenity deck also features a large, warm water spa capable of hosting at least 12-15 guests at a time.
On the 6th floor of the resort hotel, Aqueous designed two steam rooms and two indoor, warm water spas. These features are included within a therapy center in the hotel where guests can be pampered with a hot stone massage, deep tissue therapy, or simply a soak in the whirlpool or visit to the steam room.
The lobby level of the hotel contains four fountains designed by Aqueous Engineering. Two of the fountains are located immediately upon entering the front doors of the building and serve to welcome guests into the main lobby of the building. A third, large fountain feature is located behind the concierge desk in the lobby. This water fountain contains a large, iconic sculpture of three mustang horses, and is a flagship icon in the building’s lobby. The fourth fountain designed by Aqueous is located near the elevator core of the building. This fountain has an upper pool that gently spills into a lower pool to create a serene, comforting sound of gently moving water.
Eco-uatic Note: Due to the complexity of the project and the relatively large number of pumps employed in the design, Aqueous Engineering anticipated a substantial electrical load required to operate the pumps in this design. In order to facilitate the “green” design trends that Austin is known for, Aqueous designed “variable frequency drives” (VFDs) to control all large pump motors on the project. The installation of the VFDs has proven to very beneficial to the facility owner by greatly reducing the electrical costs needed to run the pumps.
All lighting in the pools, spas and fountains on this project are LED lights. The LED lights selected will significantly reduce electrical costs required to light these features.
Aqueous Engineering, in collaboration with Studio DWG and GENSLER, was also able to design a system used to collect condensate water from the air conditioning system for the building, and use water that would normally be wasted to fill the pools and fountains. This creative design technique was developed so money could be saved for the “make-up” water of the pools, and used to offset other operational costs of such a monumental building.
Pictures courtesy of Fairmount Austin
TEAM:GENSLER (Architect; Austin) Studio DWG (Landscape Architect; Austin) Hunt Construction Group (General Contractor; Dallas) Aqua Builders (Pool Contractor; Austin)