i-35 capping and air rights study

austin, tx



There is a need for new development as the region grows, especially in the urban core. We have learned from Envision Central Texas series that 1/3 of new development should and will be in the Urban Core. A lot of these opportunities can occur where there is ‘recycled’ or ‘reclaimed’ land. As the metropolitan region grows, these new opportunities should be investigated for a new form of development.  The City of Austin hired Land Design Studio to conduct a one week workshop and produce a report studying the development possibilities of the proposed reconstruction of IH-35. This “air rights study” investigated capping over four blocks of sunken highway through downtown to reconnect east and west.  There were 3 schemes developed. Maximum buildout, Minimum and Hybrid. The Maximum buildout proposes a 21 story building, pedestrian friendly streets and shops while the Minimum buildout proposes an urban park and an urban square over the sunken highway.