Culture / Travel

Austin’s Newest Hotel Brings Rooftop Wows to Congress Avenue — Your Sneak Preview of Hyatt Centric Austin

OBMI Keeps It Design Orientated

BY // 07.20.22

OBMI is a nearly century-old architectural firm behind some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. With offices located in sought-after destinations like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Dubai, and Madrid, OBMI architects have designed striking escapes in more than 100 countries. Now, the design firm (which has opened a new design studio dubbed UCO Studio, with a flagship in Dallas) is turning its sights on Austin with the new Hyatt Centric Austin.

The Hyatt Centric South Congress Austin is scheduled to open in early October along Congress Avenue. The dazzling new modern hotel sits right next door to the city’s historic Paramount Theatre (circa 1915) and is just blocks away from the Texas Capitol building itself.

With 25 years of hospitality design experience and a portfolio of projects in more than 20 countries, UCO principal Eric Ullmann certainly knows what goes into creating a memorable hotel. He answered some questions from PaperCity on the new Hyatt Centric Austin.

Hyatt-Centric-Austin – Situated next door the the historic Paramount Theatre, Hyatt Centric will bring its modern twist to Austin soon
Situated next door the the historic Paramount Theatre, Hyatt Centric will bring its modern twist to Austin soon.

Here is your sneak peek of Austin’s newest hotel:

PaperCity: How does your extensive global design work inform the design of the Hyatt Centric, Austin?

Eric Ullmann: We believe every space has a story to tell. That’s as true of urban neighborhoods as it is of exotic places. The story’s origin for Hyatt Centric rests on Austin’s rich history and vibrant cultural landscape ― a recognized creative haven for artists and musicians.

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Uncovering the local artisans while building upon Congress Avenue’s storied history allowed UCO to bring a dynamic narrative to life within the property’s walls. Hyatt Centric Austin showcases both the city’s eccentricity and ingenuity.

PC: What elements could you point to that bring help bring the hotel’s character to life?
Ullmann: From artists to activists, musicians to merchants, hippies to hipsters, Austin becomes the backdrop for a bohemian lifestyle. Austin is a place that’s laid back while still energetic, a mecca not only for the musician, but a call to all who embrace anything local, and everything indie.

The hotel’s interior spaces will be inspired by Austin’s boho and contemporary style, with nods to the rich local Texas history and energetic music scene. The lifestyle hotel will feature an extensive art collection created by local Austin-area artists, allowing guests to feel truly immersed in the city environment.

As the Live Music Capital of the World, the hotel will showcase offbeat touches like guitar-amp nightstands and vintage concert posters. Guests can listen to live bands play at the rooftop bar or head out to explore the acclaimed restaurants and lounges that surround Congress Avenue.

PC: The linear glass atrium under the cantilever step out of the building feels almost like a waterfall in the middle of the city. How would you describe its vantage point?
Ullmann: The eighth floor bar and outdoor lounge La Bis offered a moment for us to connect guests with a bird’s-eye view of the downtown scenery including the Paramount Theater, Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue Bridge, North Austin nightlife, SoCo’s vintage shops and more.

We believe it is a must-see, among locals and visitors, to take in views of Congress Avenue for a small bite or a late-night cocktail.

UCO Studio incorporated rich woods and other Hill Country tones into the Hyatt Centric Austin design.
UCO Studio incorporated rich woods and other Hill Country tones into the Hyatt Centric Austin design.

PC: The interior of the lobby space is very earthy with greens and browns. Why did you choose that scheme in bustling Austin, Texas?
Ullmann: As a hub for creatives, we wanted the interiors to inspire guests, boost productivity and contribute to a stronger sense of wellbeing.

While Hyatt Centric and Congress Avenue are set within the bustling city, Austin has beautiful hill country and lakes on its urban edge. We took these natural areas and brought them into the interiors to provide a connection to the environment throughout the hotel’s amenity spaces.

The cutting edge rooms at the soon to open Hyatt Centric Austin are sleek as well as bohemian.
The cutting edge rooms at the soon to open Hyatt Centric Austin are sleek as well as bohemian.

OBMI’s UCO Studio is quickly amassing a rather impressive hospitality portfolio ― from hotels to projects completed for developers and restaurateurs. This includes the Taj Goa Resort in India, St. Regis Resort in Bermuda and the soon-to-debut Hyatt Centric Austin, which is already booking reservations for stays beginning on October 5.

UCO was founded on becoming what it calls “storytellers of space.” In addition to offering branding, lighting design and art consultation on projects across the globe, the resorts and boutique hotels it designs are geared to embody the cities they call home.

Soon everyone will see what that means at Hyatt Centric Austin.

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