University of Texas Replacement Office Building
In order to consolidate University of Texas System staff into one location a new 19-story structure was conceptualized and is currently in the process of being built in downtown Austin. This facility will replace a number of older university buildings and lease spaces creating Class A offices for use by the UT System, leaving three floors of shell space to be leased to non-UT System entities. System studies indicate the move will yield a total estimated net savings of more than $125 million over 30 years.
Conveniently located on 7th Street between Lavaca and Colorado Streets, this modern, efficient building is mere blocks from the home of the Longhorns. Street level of the building will hold a cafe and retail space and a welcoming lobby. From there, a grand stair leads up to Level 2, where visitors’ attention will be drawn to the prominently displayed bronze Littlefield doors; These pieces of Austin history were the original doors to the historic Littlefield Building and are scheduled to be relocated from their current home at the University campus. The UT Chancellor’s office, staff and a new state-of-the art Regents’ Board Room will occupy the second level.
There is one level of below grade parking. A loading dock is cleverly tucked under a speed ramp along the alley that directs cars up 36 feet past the Street Level and Level 2 to the first of 8 parking levels that rest above Level 2. Level 19 provides fitness and wellness facilities, a cafeteria for the System staff – a common area to enjoy the tremendous view of downtown Austin and surrounding areas.
The tight site dictated that the speed ramp to the parking levels must pass over the Regent’s Board Room. Walter P Moore collaborated closely with the architect and acoustical consultant to develop strategies for reducing vibrations from vehicle traffic passing through the driving surface to the space below. These included designing an isolated ceiling system beneath the ramp and detailing an isolated topping slab as the ramp wearing surface.
Walter P Moore also provided timely input early in the design to eliminate a massive and costly transfer girder above the loading dock that would have had to support 17 stories above.