Improving Austin One “Game” at a Time

By: Tyler Stowell, AIA

STG Design sponsored and competed in Austin Monitor’s Development Game Night at Google Fiber Space on Monday, May 16. Austin Monitor, an Austin-based, independent news outlet, focuses on Austin government happenings and hosted a Game Night to engage the community to discuss issues surrounding development in Austin.  Monday’s event challenged teams to produce a development proposal for an Austin Independent School District property in east Austin. Councilwoman Ora Houston – whose council district covers the proposed site – gave closing remarks. 

Our Corazon Verde site plan proposes connections to the surrounding communities which allows neighbors access to the site's amenities, including an urban grocery store. (blue, center).

Our team, made up of STG employees, included three architects, an interior designer, and our current architectural student intern from the University of Texas. We collaborated across studio lines to design an innovative solution, which proposed walkable urban development in an area designated for mixed-use by our city’s "Imagine Austin" comprehensive plan.  Our proposal, dubbed “Corazon Verde,” prioritized the role of pedestrians and cyclists, which are understood to be a critical part of creating successful urban spaces. The design established a hierarchy within the street network that restricted car access to the main street and allowed the rest of the development to become a more pedestrian-friendly environment, with the streets doubling as social spaces. 

Rose Ballard, Tyler Stowell, Chris Gonzalez, and Omar Salim present "Corazon Verde" to the panel of judges.

Rose Ballard, Tyler Stowell, Chris Gonzalez, and Omar Salim present "Corazon Verde" to the panel of judges.

I presented STG’s entry to a panel of judges comprised of prominent members of Austin’s development community. Teammate Chris Gonzalez, AIA supplemented the presentation with a live SketchUp model showing a 3D bird’s-eye view of our plan. Corazon Verde was well received and, although it didn’t ultimately win the competition, the STG team walked away satisfied with our work and the healthy discussion that ensued.  

STG Design is committed to taking an active role in discussing development issues with professional peers, elected leaders, and the community at large. We have a unique position as experts in the built environment and care deeply about the future of the cities in which we live and work. Look for STG Design to continue lending their voice in similar forums in the future! 

 Tyler Stowell, AIA has been an Architect at STG Design for a year and a half, specializing in student housing projects. He has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Tyler is passionate about bettering the community through advocacy at the local level; he is co-leading the AIA-Austin's advocacy efforts for the Land Development Code rewrite called CodeNEXT, and is active in AURA, a grassroots urbanist organization.