preserve atx art
Austin's Umlauf Sculpture Garden gets creative with new expansion and preservation plans
A long-standing staple of Austin's artistic community is seeking to expand its premises and improve accessibility for patrons in a new vision plan for the site's future.
The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum (stylized UMLAUF) is collaborating with international architecture and engineering firm Page to develop its Historic Preservation, Expansion and Unification (HPEU) Plan. In addition to expansion and accessibility improvements, the vision plan will also include details to preserve the 1.93-acre portion of the property that encompasses the namesake Umlauf home, artist's studio, and sculpture garden.
"Our goal is to give every single visitor — from those who know little about Austin to those who frequent the Garden regularly — the opportunity to experience the full scope of this treasured site," said Umlauf Board of Directors President Jennie Branch in a release. "As Austin has grown exponentially, the Umlauf remains committed to sharing this vital part of the City’s history within eight acres of green space in the heart of Austin."
Page has an extensive history working on major projects in Austin while managing environmental concerns. The firm has helped construct the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the Austin Convention Center, the Second Street District, Rainey Street, and much more.
Page will be tasked with addressing storm water runoff and surface pollutants at the Umlauf as part of the HPEU Plan.
"Page’s people, plus their long history of innovation and sensitivity to environmental concerns, made them the right choice for the Umlauf," Branch continued.
The architecture firm also has a previous connection with the sculpture garden. Lawrence Speck, Page's Lead Principle architect, is the creator behind the original Umlauf Gallery and Terrace.
"We were honored to help create the original Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum back in the 1980s, but this project is absolutely about the future… the future of the UMLAUF, and the future of Austin," Speck said.
The Umlauf is seeking community input before moving forward with the HPEU Plan. The sculpture garden always has fundraising opportunities at events, such as The Domain's Starlight Soiree this October.
More information about the vision plan and a public survey can be found on umlaufsculpture.org.