Lady Bird Loo
Architect: Mell Lawrence Architects
Location: Austin, Texas
Category: Under 5,000 sq ft (category three)
These two structures are scaled to its surrounding landscape and are through subtle shifts in geometry that differentiate them, each has its own sense of personality.
The Lady Bird Loo is located near Austin’s wild and busy downtown, in a stretch of hike-and-bike trails paralleling the river that bisects the city. The clients needed two single restrooms, low maintenance and vandal-resistant with great ventilation and a sense of safety for the occupant. The design team wanted spirited shelters scaled to the well treed riverside park space, with each having its own personality. The interiors give a sense of momentary pause and respite; they are safe and airy with great light and views of trees and sky.
Requiring no special finishes or maintenance, the project is built entirely of steel and concrete left raw and unfinished. Changing sunlight animates the whole experience; it amplifies details and narrow edges, reemphasizes the faceted forms, darts light-slivers through intentional gaps between material, and creates useful shade and fun shadow patterns.