Fairmont Austin Becomes ATX’s First ‘Hotel on a Park’

The 1,048-key project is currently progressing at a floor-a-week pace.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Fairmont Austin Lobby
Fairmont Austin Lobby

Austin, TexasFairmont Austin, a new 37-story luxury hotel set to open in the summer of 2017, will pay homage to the neighboring Palm Park, which will serve as a gathering place for the hotel, the Convention Center and surrounding neighborhoods. Palm Park is currently undergoing revitalization by the non-profit Waller Creek Conservancy.

“We are excited to welcome Fairmont Austin to the Waller Creek district,” said Peter Mullan, CEO of Waller Creek Conservancy. “This beautiful hotel, connected to nature and the creek at Palm Park, is transforming the district into a vibrant, urban environment.”

The design of the hotel, with of Warren Sheets of San Francisco at the helm, was inspired by Palm Park and Waller Creek, resulting in a ‘hotel on a park’ concept by creating an organic continuity from the hotel’s environment to the spaces within. “On a broader scope, I was looking at how important outdoor life is to Austinites and to the state itself,” said Sheets. “Because the hotel is on a park, I brought the park into the hotel. All the interior elements down to the smallest details weave a cohesive narrative that honors this beautiful city and will serve to welcome guests with trademark hospitality.”

At the entrance, guests are greeted by two 24 feet high by 26 feet wide towering Heritage Oak trees which flank the reception desk. The Park Lounge features a geometric, life-size topiary garden with mature tree and moving lights aimed at the ceiling. Indigenous greenery and cultural references appear throughout the hotel’s interior.

The hotel’s outdoor spaces were designed by Austin-based landscape architecture firm dwg., selected to ensure a seamless integration of Waller Creek’s vision with Fairmont’s environmentally sustainable standards.

“Our design for the landscape celebrates and embraces the unique location and proximity of the hotel to Waller Creek and Palm Park. The tagline we used for the project was a ‘hotel in a park’ and, subsequently the rooftop pool, gardens and event spaces became known as ‘a park in a hotel’. The vision for the landscape is very innovative and amplifies the unique and critical ecosystem of Waller Creek,” said Daniel Woodroffe, president of dwg. “This is accomplished by using native and adapted plants and trees and significantly reducing water consumption by harvesting the AC condensate from the hotel’s air conditioning system. Ensuring the brand standards of the hotel and the commitment to sustainability was very important to the success of our design.”

Fairmont Austin Park Lounge
Fairmont Austin Park Lounge

Fairmont Austin will be connected to the Austin Convention Center through the 33-foot-tall elevated Red River Canopy Walk. The pedestrian bridge will include a stairway and ramp leading to Palm Park and three miles of new hike and bike trails.

“Fairmont Austin is devoted to honoring public treasures like Palm Park and Waller Creek, while contributing in meaningful ways to the city’s future,” said Michael McMahon, director of sales and marketing for Fairmont Austin. “The revival of Palm Park, the transformation of neighboring Red River and Rainey Street Districts, coupled with the hotel’s distinct interior and exterior design will be nothing short of spectacular.”

Images courtesy of Fairmont Austin Hotel