A landmark 420-seat theatre was added in 2012 to smaller venues on the ZACH Scott civic theatre campus in Austin, Texas, ushering in a new era of theatre production for Austin and for ZACH. Located on city-owned parkland, the LEED-certified project was financed by public bond funds and private donations. Resource Design (now TOPIO) served as consultant for site design and landscape architecture to lead architects Andersson•Wise.
Inviting open spaces and pedestrian connections throughout the 8-acre site weave together different facilities to support visitors from the general public as well as theatre-goers. Extensive streetscape improvements on South Lamar Blvd. link the theatre to the emerging South Lamar district, adjacent Ladybird Lake Park, and downtown Austin just across the river. A double row of shade trees along S. Lamar mitigates the Texas heat and contextualizes the 70-foot building facade.
Extensive rain gardens and bioinfiltration ponds throughout the site utilize native plantings and specialized soils to filter the first inch of rainfall runoff from rooftops and parking lots, meeting water quality regulations while offering visitors a distinct opportunity to connect with the environment. The site design was selected as an example of best practices in green infrastructure by the Austin Green Building Society and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.