Block 21: W Austin Hotel + Condo with ACL Live at Moody Theater

Austin, TX

The Block 21 development includes a 250-room W Hotel, the 160 W Residences, the 2700-seat Austin City Limits/Moody Theater, and retail spaces. Seated behind city hall in the 2nd Street District the tower faces south overlooking Lady Bird Lake.
The Vision

The tower is designed in response to the seasonal changes of sun pattern and prevailing breezes. Inspiration came from studying the Mesa Verde pueblo of Colorado. 

  • Client

    Stratus Properties

  • Architect of Record

    BOKA Powell

  • Interior Design

    Stratus Properties; Heather Plimmer, Andersson / Wise

  • Landscape Architects

    Talley Associates

  • Civil Engineer


  • Structural Engineer

    Thornton Tomasetti

  • MEP Engineer

    JJA Inc.

  • Interior Design/Music Venue

    Rios Clementi Hale Studios

  • Theater Consultant

    Theatre Consultants Collaborative

  • Suitable Design Consultant

    Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems

  • Telecommunications & Audio Visual Consultant

    IP Design Group

  • Commissioning Consultant

    ACR Engineering, Inc.

  • Energy Renewables

    Meridian Energy Systems

  • Daylight/Energy & Modeling Consultant

    Clanton & Associates

  • Food Service & Laundry Consultant

    William Caruso & Associates

  • Code Consultant

    Schrimer Engineering

  • Building Envelope

    CDC Consulting

  • Security & Building Controls Consultant

    Securitas Systems

  • Elevator Consultant

    Persohn/Hahn Associates

  • Acoustical Consultant


  • Lighting Consultant

    Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

  • Geotechnical

    Terracon Consultants, Inc.

  • Specialty Contractors

    A. Zahner & Co.

  • Win-Con Enterprises

  • AMI Architectural Millwork Installation

  • Steel House MFG

  • General Contractor

    Austin Commercial, LP

  • Photographer

    Art Gray, Andrew Pogue, Jonathan Jackson, Tim Hursley, and Tom McConnell

0415 Block 21 W Austin Andrew Pogue V south facade of tower
“Drawing on the simple forms and pure shapes of minimalist art, Andersson-Wise Architects conceived the hotel as a narrow tower defined by light and shadow.”

Architectural Record

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The street level podium structure rises 60 feet to make a base for the hotel and residence tower. A thin east west proportion and a wide north / south orientation with deeply recessed balconies minimize the sun exposure and maximize views to the city and lake.


Natural plaster and walnut surround distinctive public spaces of the hotel designed to gradually move away from the natural light into low lit cave-like rooms with textiled walls.

ACL Live at Moody Theater

A broad staircase leads to the exterior lobby terrace and the 2700 seat theater elevated 20 feet above 2nd Street.

Project Team
  • Arthur W. Andersson, FAIA

  • F. Christian Wise, AIA

  • Christopher Sanders, AIA

  • Catherine Craig

  • Laura McQuary

  • Leland Ulmer

  • Robin Logan

  • Xavier Cantu

  • Meegan Beddoe

  • Four Star Rating - Austin Energy Green Building Program - Block 21 + W Hotel Austin

    Austin Energy Green Building Program

  • Best Real Estate Award - Austin Business Journal - Block 21 + W Hotel Austin

    Austin Business Journal

  • Stewardship Award - Envision Central Texas - Block 21 + W Hotel Austin

    Envision Central Texas

  • Student Architecture Award - The University of Texas School of Architecture - Block 21 + W Hotel Austin

    The University of Texas School of Architecture

  • LEED Silver Certification - US Green Building Council - Block 21 + W Hotel Austin

    US Green Building Council