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The American Institute of Architects visits COTA's Observation Tower

Posted on March 06, 2017

Written by Meg Trahan

Austin, Texas is a renowned hub for large events that draw massive crowds to the city throughout the year. From music festivals and technology conferences to exclusive film screenings and premier motorsports races, Austin continues to reach a wider audience and attract international attention.

This past February, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) descended upon Austin as part of their 49th anniversary celebration. AIA’s 2017 celebration includes visiting more than 20 countries to highlight architecture from cities that are becoming increasingly global, yet still maintain and value a unique identity. As a city that prides itself on staying weird, it’s unsurprising our beloved Austin made the cut.

As part of AIA’s stop in Austin, the Spring Conference visited sites that highlight the urban and private environments that are developing as Austin transitions into a big city, and also represent some of Austin’s best architecture. This included a stop at the architectural masterpiece of Miró/Rivera Architects - the Observation Tower at Circuit of The Americas.

The tour of Circuit of The Americas was led by architect Juan Miró, the talent behind the design of the Tower. Miró focused his tour on the Grand Plaza, Austin360 Amphitheater and the Observation Tower, expounding upon the challenges of working on a short timeline from concept to execution.

The Observation Tower’s design was inspired by the glowing red streaks tail lights leave behind a car at night, and captures the energy and strength involved in racing. The iconic Tower serves as a focal point at Circuit of The Americas, and seamlessly creates a dramatic backdrop to COTA’s Austin360 Amphitheater. The Tower not only serves as a visual piece with an LED light show, but is a functional structure, allowing guests to view the track and the accompanying landscape from above. The Tower's height and strong visual presence helps guests orient themselves to the track as they move around the large property.

Circuit of The Americas was honored by the visit, and once again thanks Juan Miró for creating a stunning focal point that towers above all events at COTA.

Scroll down for more images of the Observation Tower.