Size: 350,000 Type: Multi Family Housing
Definition: New
Date Completed: 04/03/2009


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: HIGH-RISE Owner - The Hanover Co., Houston, TX
Architect/Designer - HKS, Dallas, TX
General Contractor - The Hanover Co., Houston, TX
Masonry Contractor - Brazos Masonry Inc., Waco, TX
Masonry Supplier - Acme Brick, Temple, TX
Masonry Supplier - Elgin Butler Brick, Austin, TX
Masonry Supplier - Featherlite Building Products, Round Rock, TX
Other - United Commercial Cast Stone, Denton, TX
Other - Salado Quarry, Florence, TX
Other - Granitos Naturales, San Antonio, TX

The Ashton is a sleek, infinitely flexible, multi-dimensional, and open luxury high-rise residence. Now known as one the tallest brick structures in Texas, this exclusive high-rise towers 412 feet in the air above 1st Street and plunges 56 feet below. The massive parking garage consists of over 85,000 Concrete Masonry Units (CMU). In addition, all floors of the High-Rise include hidden CMU enclosures surrounding the condenser units; which brings the grand total amount of CMU to over 100,000 units.

The Architect wisely chose a perfectly selected blend of granite, face brick and native Texas limestone to package the building façade. The Brazos Masonry team members flawlessly installed over 500,000 king size face brick, in excess of 400 tons of limestone and more than 20,000 square feet of cast stone. Over 1,000 different shapes, sizes, and pieces of cast stone were skillfully incorporated as accent bands, headers, soffits, and sills. Also included in the design is 2,500 square feet of stunning polished and flamed granite that bestows an elegant touch to the pedestal. The remarkable granite and cast stone uniquely wrap around to the inside of the first floor of the parking garage creating immense character to what could have been a bleak parking garage.

The serene pool deck, located on the 6th level atop the parking garage, includes split face block, cast stone, and limestone. The rooftop offers a place for relaxation and enjoyment as the masonry elements bring together delicate Texas accents to the infinity-edge pool, landscaped terrace, and outdoor dining and grilling areas.

The downtown Austin working areas on site were entirely non-existent, requiring precise coordination of deliveries, as well as material to be stocked at its point of use immediately after unloading. Deliveries began as early at 4:30 am and extended well into the evening until 8:00 pm. After extreme and careful planning by all parties involved in the construction process, it was decided that in some locations scaffold had to be erected to double as the pedestrian walkway due to lack of space. Other portions of the scaffold had to be erected with overhead protection to guarantee masonry work could be erected just a few floors behind the concrete. This phase of the work had to be meticulously coordinated to allow framing, sheathing, and waterproofing subcontractors to complete their work from the masonry scaffold as well. However, in spite of its overwhelming size, extremely tight working conditions, and safety concerns, tower portion of the project was completed ahead of schedule.

Overall, the Ashton demonstrates that even amid the most difficult construction parameters and requirements, a breath-taking masonry structure can still be created. Even with today’s confining jobsites and tight schedules, elegant masonry can still stand tall and stand out. The Ashton does all of these things, incorporating the use of classic masonry for a modern design.