The 53-floor apartment tower planned for the quarter-block at the southwest corner of West Sixth and Rio Grande Streetby developers Kairoi Residential might not break ground for a while — if you weren’t aware, Kairoi is currently busy building the tallest tower in Austin while simultaneously planning to build the tallest tower in Texas.
A view of the West Sixth and Rio Grande Street site now occupied by WTF Icehouse, set to be developed with a residential tower that avoids the Capitol View Corridor over its site in the same manner as the prism-shaped (cheese-wedge-shaped?) Fifth & West tower seen here in the background.
Still, its location at 701 West Sixth Street, a 0.44-acre site in the heart of the area’s bar district and currently occupied by the, uh, legendary (opened 2018) Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Icehouse, has seen some more tower-related intrigue in recent years, mainly the mysterious site next door seemingly set for another vertical development at the southeast corner of West Sixth Street and West Avenue. That’s a lot of bars potentially getting replaced, including Concrete Cowboy and the Dogwood along with the aforementioned WTF, so we certainly hope all of these towers contain new ground-floor retail to fill the gaps — according to the latest plans, Kairoi’s Sixth and Rio tower does, though we don’t know much about it yet.
Speaking of which, after our speculation last month regarding the inevitably prism-like shape of the tower based on the route of the Capitol View Corridor over part of its site — very similar to the look of the Fifth & West condo tower next door shaped by the same corridor — we now have a slightly better idea of how the tower’s going to look based on some new drawings added to its site plan:
These drawings of the approximately 608-foot tower come to us via GDA Architects, the Dallas-based firm that you’ll recall is behind the design of the aforementioned Fifth & West condo tower next door, along with the Alexan Waterloo tower avoiding a view corridor on the other end of downtown. The firm has experience designing around these invisible barriers, so it makes sense for Kairoi to hand them the wheel — other players include landscape architects TBG Partners alongside intrepid engineers from DCI, Kimley-Horn, Kilgore, Power Design, and Jordan & Skala.
If you look at the elevations seen here from their different angles, you can sort of understand how the tower looks in 3D despite the limitations of a flat image in depicting the prism shape designed to avoid the view corridor. In the southern-facing elevation seen on the left in the image above, the left edge of the tower is closer to the viewer than the right edge because we’re actually looking at a diagonal facade. If that’s breaking your brain, just look at the diagram below illustrating the perspective:
Anyway, these drawings can’t give us everything, but it proves that the tower is indeed a narrow little slice of cheese! It also proves that the tower is blue, which is fine because everything is now and we can’t let it bother us even though we’re still praying for gold one of these days. Perhaps the most striking detail seen here is the tower’s massive, blank concrete wall facing west — not exactly visually stunning, but a good indicator that Kairoi expects that Sixth and West plot next door to host an equally tall tower in the near future. We hope it looks like these fake renderings!