Page Southerland Page design's Austin's first LEED Gold housing block
The AMLI Residential Tower is a mixed use, 18-storey building that integrates 35,000 sq ft of ground level retail, 4 ½ levels of parking, a large pool / clubhouse / recreation deck above the garage, and 17 floors of residential units completed in February 2008.
The project responds to the context of downtown Austin by breaking its mass down into four separate volumes articulated by color as well as by massing. Within each volume, a distinctive staggered window pattern along with stacked columns of sunrooms breaks down the scale once again. The result is an urban building that is finely tuned to its context, with a scale that is large enough to hold its own among other towers, yet small enough to seem residential.
The tower’s skin is made of anodised aluminum shingles, giving it a rich texture and a luminous surface quality that changes in different light conditions. The garage is draped with a lightweight steel and polycarbonate armature that both screens cars and admits natural light.
From massing to materials choices, this project is designed to high sustainability standards. Orientated with long faces north and south and short faces east and west, the building is able to resist heat gain in the warmest times of the year. All windows of units face either north (where heat gain is not a problem) or south (where solar gain can be controlled by horizontal sunshades).
Deep cantilevered concrete balconies provide just such sunshade as well as creating generous outdoor living spaces. The lightweight aluminium rainscreen skin both reflects heat and arranges insulation, vapour barrier and ventilation so as to optimise energy performance, durability, thermal mass and indoor air quality. The project was the first multi-family complex to achieve a 4 star rating from the Austin Energy Green Building Program (equivalent of LEED Gold).