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Frost Bank Tower | © Kumar Appaiah / Flickr
Frost Bank Tower | © Kumar Appaiah / Flickr

Austin's Most Impressive Architecture in Pictures

Picture of Sarah Karney
Updated: 6 April 2017

Against the backdrop of rolling hills and the greenbelt are some of Texas’s most beautiful buildings found in Austin. Check out seven places in the Texas capital to find impressive architecture.

Long Center for the Performing Arts

The Long Center, built in 2008, sits on the banks of Lady Bird Lake and was made possible by donations from the local community, who wanted to invest in a collaborative performing arts venue. More than 80% of the performances held here are by Austin natives, and they range widely from opera and ballet to musical theater and even flash mobs. The expansive front yard also gives visitors a breathtaking view of downtown Austin, framed by the building’s columns.

The Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 474 5664

The Bloom House

The Bloom House took over 10 years to build, using mostly polyurethane foam to contrast with the natural area surrounding it. It is a 1,101-square-foot (102.3-square-meter) space on 2.7 acres of wooded property, and there are three “sleeping areas” as there are no defined rooms in the home. You can live in this piece of art; the house hit the market in January 2017 for $695,000.

The Bloom House, 0 Encinas Rojas Street, Austin, TX, USA

Bloom House © Linas Milavickas / Twist Tours

Bloom House | Courtesy of Linas Milavickas / Twist Tours

Bloom House © Linas Milavickas / Twist Tours

Bloom House | Courtesy of Linas Milavickas / Twist Tours

Frost Bank Tower

The Frost Bank Tower is the third tallest building in Austin, at least for now—the cranes around downtown are fervently building up its competition. It is an enormous structure with 525,000 square feet (48,774 square meters) of rentable office space in downtown Austin. The shape of the building has spurred urban legends around the choice of architecture; many people insist the top of the skyscraper is supposed to resemble the face of an owl when viewed from any of the corners.

Frost Bank Tower, 401 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX, USA

Texas Capitol

The Texas Capitol was designed to mirror the U.S. Capitol in the nation’s capital city, and the Texas government sold more than three million acres of land to fund the construction of this grand structure. It sits on 22 acres in downtown Austin and has a reddish hue due to the type of granite used on the exterior. While the outside is impressive, the intricate details on the inside are incredibly remarkable, making this building worth a stop on your trip to Austin. Learn more about the history of this prominent downtown Austin building.

Texas Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 463 0063

Chinmaya Mission

While the Austin branch of Chinmaya Mission began in 1988, this center opened in 2014. It sits on a wooded, eight-acre property with numerous classrooms, an assembly hall, and a full kitchen, among other rooms. Chinmaya Mission is a Hindu organization with the goal of providing a space for spiritual growth and happiness and enabling visitors to become positive contributors to society.

Chinmaya Mission, 12825 Burnet Road, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 820 9291

Courtesy of Chinmaya Mission

Courtesy of Chinmaya Mission

Courtesy of Chinmaya Mission

Courtesy of Chinmaya Mission

The Driskill Hotel

The Driskill Hotel is an integral part of Austin’s history, built in 1886. Despite rumors that the hotel is haunted, it is one of the most luxurious hotels in town, sitting in the heart of Sixth Street. The marble floors, stained-glass dome, and 189 guest rooms and suites feel like a step back in time to the opulent 19th century.

The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos Street, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 439 1234

Container Bar

Constructed of seven stacked and arranged shipping containers, the Container Bar on Austin’s buzzy Rainey Street is a unique stop during a night on the town. Wood paneling and multi-colored furniture tie the structure together, and the bar boasts a list of delightful cocktails, such as the Vanilla Peach Shandy with Tito’s Vodka, peach puree, lemon, vanilla, and Alaskan White Ale. The mastermind behind the design of this bar is Bridget Dunlap, who also created neighboring Lustre Pearl, Clive Bar, and Bar 96.

Container Bar, 90 Rainey Street, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 320 0820