Local studio Michael Hsu Office of Architecture took an organic approach when designing the communal spaces, introducing soft shapes and natural materials to the glass and concrete structure.
“44 East combines nature and design with the idea of home,” said studio founder Michael Hsu. “It’s an unexpected expression of what beautiful, livable, modern spaces can be.”
The bright lobby features light colours, curved surfaces, and a blend of hard and soft materials.
Poured concrete terrazzo floors are intended to echo the gravel of the nearby riverside trail, while plaster ceilings are subtly smooth-edged to mimic the undersides of boats.
A glazed atrium with curved corners divides the ground floor and brings the landscaping by DWG further into the building.
Lounges on either side are furnished with a mix of vintage and contemporary pieces, which add colour and texture.
The reception desk has rounded edges and sides, and a glossy mint-green finish. It sits on a chrome base that matches a custom pendant light over a nearby seating area.
“[The communal areas are] a completely designed experience, one that allows for a multitude of ways of living,” Hsu said. “It represents creativity and design without pretension.”
On the 11th floor, a series of spaces are oriented towards views of the Colorado River and the leafy neighbourhoods to the south.
A circular outdoor swimming pool features loungers dipped into the shallow water and a series of pebble-shaped islands.
Adjacent is a partially covered patio for barbecuing and dining al fresco, oriented around a planter with a tree that grows up through a hole in the slatted canopy.
Indoor spaces on this level are decorated in pastel hues to match those found in the residences, which were designed by Page.
Further amenity areas on the 37th floor feature jewel tones and darker materials, such as the stone flooring, as well as fixtures including a large moon-like pendant light above a circular sofa.
“We hope that this space feels both fresh and welcoming, a place that has new moments to discover, but that is comfortable and familiar,” said Hsu. “Design here is part of the resident’s everyday experience, rather than reserved for a special occasion.”
Austin continues to grow as a desirable place to live and work, and has seen a boom in development across residential, commercial and hospitality sectors as a result.
Plans for a supertall skyscraper in the city were unveiled in November 2022, although cut back significantly six months later, leaving another supertall by KPF in the running to become Texas’ tallest building.
Michael Hsu Office of Architecture has also wrapped up a string of projects in its home state, from converting a 1930s Austin church into a design office to designing a cosy Japanese restaurant in Houston.
The photography is by Chase Daniel.
Common areas/amenity spaces: Michael Hsu Office of Architecture
Home interiors: Page
Landscape architect: DWG
Civil engineering: WGI