Hart Howerton worked closely with Miraval Austin to create a new, luxury resort that embodies the Texas Hill Country style and the essence of a spiritual spa retreat. Hart Howerton served as resort-wide designer for the project – including interior design, architecture, and landscape architecture – as well as leading the graphic design of the extensive wayfinding program. The design team collaborated with Clodagh in the execution of the interior design of the spa building on the property.
Miraval Austin was designed to claim a leadership role in the wellness movement, by creating unique experiences that promote movement, contemplation, resiliency, and healthful intention. Hart Howerton Principal, David Rau, comments “The overarching theme in all our work was to interpret the Texas Hill Country context, focusing on the natural environment and architectural legacy of the region, as well as the larger Austin community and its vibrant counterculture. The result is a uniquely Texan experience: at once rustic and refined, edgy and elegant.” Guests can learn about sustainable food cultivation at the resort’s organic farm; practice the fine art of hatchet-throwing; or engage in the tradition of painting horses.
The resort’s design interprets the early settlements of the Texas Hill Country including farmhouses, small towns, and early civic structures like chapels and schoolhouses. The architectural palette is consistent with these themes, and includes locally quarried Texas limestone, white clapboard siding, and standing-seam metal roofs as well as reclaimed wood timbers, and raw steel with a natural, rusted patina.
The interior design contrasts with the exteriors of the buildings offering a contemporary, spa-like experience. Most guest rooms provide panoramic views over the hilltops of the surrounding countryside. An extensive custom lighting package was developed by Hart Howerton in collaboration with Remains Lighting and manufactured in America in their Brooklyn manufactory. Consisting of hundreds of indoor and outdoor fixtures, the collection was based on traditional mining and agricultural lamps and torches reinterpreted in an original, contemporary form. The fixtures feature handmade metalwork, custom bronze castings, and unique, ribbed-glass hurricanes.
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