An Insider’s Guide to Austin’s Hidden Gems
by Nicole Beckley
Raising The Bar
If you’re looking to hit the bar after work and feel even more refreshed than when you went in, northwest Austin’s Meditation Bar has “happy hour” classes to do just that. Founded by a group of mindfulness specialists, the studio offers several different group classes throughout the day, helping channel energy, breath awareness and goal setting. Think about it.
For more information visit meditationbar.com
Thoroughly Modern Marfa
When photographer Casey Dunn and writer Helen Thompson teamed up to work on a new book, “Marfa Modern: Artistic Interiors of the West Texas High Desert,” it was a collaboration nearly 70 years in the making, Dunn jokes. (Dunn’s mother took piano lessons from Thompson’s mother; the women grew up on the same street in Austin.)
Having covered architecture for magazines like House Beautiful and Western Art & Architecture, Dunn and Thompson set out to capture a few of the unique homes that permeate the Marfa landscape. Turns out there were even more than expected. “Once we started we quickly realized there were more houses out there than we could possibly fit into a book,” Dunn says. Marfa’s appeal to creative types is reflected in the homes they’ve built ranging from minimalist to upscale modern. Cataloguing these, “I realized that the people’s houses were their artistic statement,” Thompson says.
For more information visit helenthompsoninhouse.com/books
Seaholm District Mural
Round the corner from West 3rd Street onto Walter Seaholm Drive, and you’ll be met with a long wall of alternately dizzying and meticulously organized geometric shapes in black and white. Installed in August, the public mural’s patterns pop thanks to the work of Italian duo Sten Lex, contemporary artists known for the large-scale abstract stencil pieces they’ve created in places like Shanghai and Rome. Titled “Accordion 16,” the Seaholm mural is self-reflective, referring to the 16 sections of its zig-zagging wall.
Photographs by Erica McCarthy
For more information visit stenlex.com
Reduce, Reuse, Restore
Get knee-deep into any home renovation project and invariably you’ll come up short on some materials and have way too many of others. The Habitat For Humanity ReStore in South Austin lets individuals and builders donate and shop for flooring, lighting, drywall, ceiling fans and more. For especially large donations, free pickups can be arranged. Plus, the ReStore’s sales help support Habitat’s home ownership programs.
For more information visit austinhabitat.org/restore
In 2015, in response to the unannounced demolition of East Austin’s Jumpolin piñata store, designer David Goujon turned his frustration into art, memorializing the store’s demise with 10-foot tall colorful burros in Edward Rendon Sr. Park. Goujon went a step further and threw a piñata festival to attract community attention to the development of the east side. “The best way to begin a great relationship with a neighborhood isn’t necessarily coming to them and getting straight to business, I believe in engaging and providing something back,” Goujon says.
For the second annual piñata festival, on Oct. 29, Goujon has partnered with Latinos in Architecture and the City of Austin for a party at the Mexican American Cultural Center, featuring free piñatas and an art installation from Michael Anthony Garcia. “We’re passionate about being responsible stewards,” Gujon says. “We’re helping build Austin … but we want to do it in such a way that we don’t forget who we are.”
For more information visit laspinatasatx.com
Read more from the Architecture Issue | October 2016