The Point Tower – Small Site? No Problem!

Characteristics & Advantages

In great part, the point tower typology came about to help provide higher density development for more walkable, urban living. A point tower lifts all residential units away from the hustle-and-bustle of the street while creating opportunities for desirable views for the residents, and more opportunities for active retail and commerce below.

Optimizing Site Potential

In the discussion on podium wraps we examined point towers that sit nicely on a typical urban block. It is increasingly the case in most urban areas that only small sites less than a block are available for new development. Therefore, we now look at some of our point towers that optimize density on tiny sites in superior locations. These vibrant developments open the door to attractive urban living at a lower cost than owning or renting a single-family home in a desirable urban neighborhood.

The Quincy - 510 Units Per Acre

Remixing with High Density

At the heart of the Rainey Street district in Austin, Endeavor’s The Quincy is a 32-story mixed-use tower overlooking Lady Bird Lake. Located adjacent to Hotel Van Zandt, The Quincy boasts a dynamic intermix of leasable space consisting of 347 small entry-level units perfect for recent graduates, 78,000 SF of creative office, and street level retail all upon one half of a city block.

Block 98 - 670 Units Per Acre

Petite Parcel

Squeaking a desirable apartment tower with enviable amenities into a tiny site and achieving maximum efficiencies is no small feat. Trammell Crow’s Block 98 development is a 42-story park-oriented development. It is located opposite the Marriott Marquis Houston to the east, and HESS Tower to the south whose garage shares the block on which Block 98 sits. The skinny site ekes out a street-level glimpse at Discovery Green from the intersection of Crawford and Walker streets – and here is where the point tower typology shines! – Placing the residential units atop a podium elevates all the residential units to maximize their urban and park views.

In addition to the ‘walker’s paradise’ location, residents of Block 98 will experience exceptional views of the park and unique vignettes of the downtown skyline.

Alison Kuttler, Associate Principal

Alison Kuttler, AIA, LEED AP

Associate Principal

Associate Principal

Alison Kuttler

The Austonian

Sophistication at a Grand Scale

Representing the arrival of the City of Austin as a sophisticated, exciting city center, Benchmark’s The Austonian is a 56-story residential point tower that occupies just one-third of a city block! Private dining that spills out into a street-side dining experience at the corner of Congress and 2nd, and the faithful preservation of Brown-Dumas Blacksmith Shop façade at 104 W 2nd Street, both enhance the pedestrian experience of the development’s public realm.

2727 Kirby

Leaning Tower of Kirby

Setting the trend for the high-density development in the Upper Kirby District, ZCA first introduced the point tower to Houston with the design of 2727 Kirby, a 30-story residential point tower perched on just one half of a city block. The slender form is recognized for its elegant design and its extraordinary west elevation that leans toward Kirby Drive.

About the Author

Scott Ziegler, AIA

As Founding Principal of the firm and leader of the Urban Architecture Studio, Scott’s design experience reflects his belief that inspirational architecture enriches people’s lives, uplifts the human spirit, and provides a constant vision of excellence. As Residential Senior Practice Area Leader, Scott plays an active role in shaping the urban landscape through the firm’s built works and his published writing in professional journals on the subjects of sustainable urban growth strategies and high-density mixed-use developments.

Scott Ziegler, AIA

Senior Principal

Senior Principal

Scott Ziegler