Reimagined City Sights

City of Austin unveils 3 finalists for Seaholm Intake Facility redesign

City of Austin unveils 3 finalists for Seaholm Intake redesign

Austin Seaholm development concept from Boka P
Seaholm rendering with running trail from design finalist BOKA Powell + Design Workshop. Photo courtesy of KVUE News
Austin Seaholm development concept from Gensler George
Seaholm rendering from Gensler Team George. Photo courtesy of KVUE News
Austin Seaholm development concept from Gumbully
Seaholm rendering from Gumbully. Photo courtesy of KVUE News
Austin Seaholm development concept from Boka P
Austin Seaholm development concept from Gensler George
Austin Seaholm development concept from Gumbully

Austin's Seaholm Intake Facility now moves one step closer toward a radical redo. The top three designs have been selected in the competition to reimagine the former power plant pump house on Lady Bird Lake as an exciting destination in the heart of the city.

Last month, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department asked the public to weigh in on the 10 design finalists, which were whittled down from an original pool of 76 entries received earlier this year. With that input, the Parks Department landed on the top three contenders: "Link," by Gumbully; "Lakehouse," by BOKA Powell + Design Workshop; and "Intake," by Gensler Team George.

The Parks Department, in partnership with the Austin Parks Foundation, Trail Foundation and AIA Austin, solicited ideas from professionals, students, artists and collaborative teams. Their charge: create a vision for the adaptive use of the Seaholm facility and surrounding land as a community destination. Proposals included bike rental areas, restaurants and pubs, art galleries, spaces for concerts and special events — even a swimming pool on the building's deck and a micro-brewery co-op.

According to Parks Department spokesperson Lyn Estabrook, the design ideas competition was intended to help articulate a vision for what can happen at the Seaholm Intake Facility and aid the department in creating a more informed request for proposal (RFP) for public-private partnerships.

"This process has been successful and well-received. The ideas received are not intended to pick a final designer but instead allow for outside ideas to be contributed toward a future design vision," she says.

"Input from residents from the open houses and the online forum SpeakUpAustin were incorporated into the competition. The public will continue to be updated as the process moves through its phases."

To see a slideshow of the final three design proposals, visit the City of Austin website.