Oct 26, 2021–Jan 23, 2022

The Landscape City

Miró Rivera Architects, Austin / Texas
Mariahilferstrasse 2, Graz 8020 Map
Tue–Sun 10 am–6 pm

Miró Rivera Architects have been working for more than 20 years in Austin, Texas/USA. The city is characterized by a topography of gentle hills and the Colorado River. Maintaining the balance and the seemingly effortless, harmonious interplay of architecture and nature is the credo of Miró Rivera Architects. In the exhibition "The Landscape City", the HDA – Haus der Architektur presents selected projects by the firm, showing examples of their approach in three chapters: Trees, Water, and People.

Cities are complex human creations that embody the values and aspirations of the societies that build them. As they adapt and evolve over time, cities develop specific models for growth in response to their historical circumstances and the physical characteristics of their locations. Although today many cities across the globe face similar challenges, the solutions to address those problems must respond to the particulars of each city: from their very specific nuances to the general understanding of the urban trajectory that has shaped them—their urban DNA.

Austin is a young city. In 1839, a settlement of a few hundred people became the capital of the Republic of Texas. The new city was named Austin and was laid out on a grid, in between two creeks, with the Capitol building on a hill. A city in the wilderness became the seat of the state government. Since then, four pillars have emerged to cement the city’s progressive image: the education and research generated by The University of Texas; the environmental activism that preserves the city’s beautiful natural environment; the bohemian spirit behind Austin’s moniker “Live Music Capital of the World”; and the high-tech industry fueling the city’s growth and prosperity.

Whether in its historic neighborhoods, the university campus, or the western hills, Austin is a landscape city that adapts to and coexists with its waterways, greenbelts, and hilly topography—all shaded by a phenomenal canopy of mature trees. Austin works hard to maintain this healthy co-existence with nature, and urban development is carefully regulated. The goal is to protect the many watersheds, aquifers, caves, wildlife habitats, and wetlands located within the city limits. To design in a landscape city like Austin is to become familiar with heritage trees, critical root zones, rim rocks, floodplains, invasive algae, sediment ponds, the nesting season of warblers, and so on. It is the joy and the challenge of designing in, and with, nature.

In three thematic areas—trees, water, people—the architects present projects that demonstrate how the interactions between city, nature, and architecture influence spaces for living and working. For Miró Rivera, this is the primary goal: to create both private places and public spaces for people to spend time and come together.