A 21-story office project with design work from one of the city’s most well-known architecture firms could bring a signature tower to the master-planned Domain Northside shopping center in North Austin, a part of town that could use more iconic tower designs as its increasing heights seek the status of Austin’s “second downtown.”
Renderings revealed this week for the Terra at Domain Northside tower by acclaimed Austin design studio Michael Hsu Office of Architecture outline the finer points of the plan previously known as Domain Block C by Dallas-based real estate firm and Domain Northside owners Northwood Retail, set to bring roughly 385,000 square feet of office space and a ground-level restaurant to a site currently occupied by a parking garage near the corner of Palm Way and Alterra Parkway. (It appears the project demolishes the parking garage in order to build a larger parking garage as part of the tower.)
The project’s on-trend curves at its main corner and the light color palette of its exterior facade indicate a building designed to pop in a way we haven’t seen before in the Domain area. Despite the charms of a few notable recent buildings like the Flatiron Domain and Gensler Austin’s various towers in the district, if built to the specifications of the renderings seen here, the Terra project would clearly raise the bar for architectural expression in this region. It looks more like a downtown building than anything we’ve seen around here yet, if that makes sense.
The real question is why anyone would announce an office project at this exact moment, no matter how good it looks — but unlike some of the office tower plans announced in the last few years downtown and currently sitting in limbo without so much as a groundbreaking, the Domain submarket still seems strong enough to support a project shooting for this level of high-design prestige.
Anyway, there’s at least more going on here than a set of fancy renderings, with a site plan for the project currently in review with the city and a possible groundbreaking date sometime in 2024. Along with Michael Hsu, the project’s design team includes national engineering consultancy Kimley-Horn, local design firm BOKA Powell, and Addison-based studio UD Architects.