Jenga Tower Reshaping Austin Skyline


A project billed as “the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi” is taking shape and slowly impacting the skyline of Austin, Texas.

The Independent, also known as “The Jenga Tower,” (not to be confused the jenga-like structure being built in New York City) is slated to be a mixed-used building that will come in at 685 feet tall and comprised off multiple off-setting tiers that will give it a block-like appearance.

Construction began in January 2016, and the live construction footage shows that Rhode: Partners’ signature look is forming now that the first cantilever on the ninth floor has been erected.

“When we reach the 34th story in a few weeks, there will be another major shift where there are amenities with some fantastic views,” Brett Rhode, director of the firm, told the Austin American-Statesman.


While Rhode: Partners is accredited with the design, engineering came from Urban Design Group, Garza Burty and joint venture LAM+DCI Consulting Engineers.

Because the design called for a small core to maximize residential space and an “exceptionally stiff concrete core to ensure resident comfort during high-wind events,” according to DCI, a few techniques were used.

The team worked with contractor Balfour Beatty to create a concrete mix with a strength of 10,000 psi, allowing for the smaller core. DCI notes that concrete over 8,000 psi is not typical for that region.

The team also used steel wide flange coupling beams to mitigate core wall thickness issues.

Constructive Ventures and Aspen Heights are teaming up on the construction, and when complete, the 660,000-square-foot project will include 436,000 square feet of residential space, 120,000 square feet of office space, 13,500 square feet of retail and more than 600 parking spaces. The price tag is estimated at $300 million.

The space is set to open late next year.


Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Design build; North America; Residential Construction

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.