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The Backyard Gets its Groove Back

This month, RVi celebrated the groundbreaking for one of our most exciting new projects – The Backyard.  Originally opened in 1993, The Backyard was a cherished live music venue set against the backdrop of the Texas Hill Country.  Several years ago the venue closed for redevelopment, and is now emerging just down the road from the original site as a revamped mixed-use destination.

The Backyard will include two live music venues, a 125-room boutique hotel, office buildings, two data centers, an energy center, parking garages, parks, and much more. The development aims to create its own electric micro-grid by burning natural gas in micro-turbines.

RVi has been hard at work the past few months designing the live music spaces, which include a large sunken amphitheater and smaller amphitheater for more intimate gatherings. The area will be open to the public year-round, and features spaces for restaurants, a recording studio, bars, and restrooms. Visitors will have a variety of different seating spaces to choose from, including a large dining deck, picnic tables, cocktail booths, and a large communal dining table.

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5 Key Considerations for Building Great Trails


In many communities, trails are often noted as the most requested amenity and one of the highest priorities for residents. We also know that building trails and encouraging connectivity can significantly improve the health and quality of life of those who live near them. But developing a successful trail is not as simple as drawing a line on a map. The following five principles are important considerations when undertaking any trail project.

1. Connections
Successful trails connect people with nature and with the places they want to go. Look for opportunities to connect with other trails, parks, community gathering areas, and points of interest. These priorities are best identified through stakeholder input exercises, where the design team can hear from the people who will ultimately use the trail.

2. Design
While the shortest distance for the trail might be a straight line, straight lines make for pretty boring trails. Great trails showcase the natural environment by preserving trees, opening up to significant views, and allowing access to interesting environmental features.  Look for ways to enhance the trail experience by engaging as many of the human senses as possible.

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Chris Lalich Featured in Austin UP Club Panel on Equality

Earlier this month, RVi’s own Chris Lalich joined several other AEC industry leaders as a panelist for the RISE UP for Equality event.  Hosted by the Austin UP Club and Equality Texas, the event focused on LGBTQ+ experiences in the architecture, design, and planning fields.  Additional panelists included Emily Little of Clayton & Little Architects, Awais Azhar of HousingWorks Austin, and Sarah Wassel of Matt Fajkus Architecture. The event was moderated by Katie Coyne of Asakura Robinson.

“It was an honor to participate alongside this awesome group of professionals in our industry. I enjoyed sharing my own personal experiences, as well as hearing from others about how being LGBTQ has influenced their careers,” Chris said. Chris is a licensed landscape architect and Director of Operations at RVi.

The UP Club is a monthly social gathering aimed at bringing together architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, and other allied professionals for an informal happy hour. For more information, check out their Facebook page.

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