Last October brought flooding of historic proportions to Austin that temporarily shut down Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), flooded the control tower, and handicapped operations for nearly five days.  Although flights resumed their normal schedules months ago, the airport is still working to complete its flood recovery effort. This includes renovating the flood-damaged landscape around the airport control tower.

Given this unexpected opportunity to create a fresh new look, the FAA retained RVi to redesign the yard areas and employee break terrace at the base of the ABIA control tower with a new emphasis on creating a sustainable and low-maintenance landscape.  Working closely with the FAA and their disaster recovery general contractor, RVi is preparing a new plan that embraces the unique vernacular of the Texas Hill Country and is respectful of Austin’s rather intensive drought cycles. The plan incorporates distinctive xeriscapic plant materials such as the Palo Verde tree (Parkinsonia aculeata) and Texas Sotol (Dasylirion texanum), a rich variety of gravels (decomposed granite, Arizona rock, Colorado rock) and accent boulders, and new limestone paving.

Though design for security is of paramount concern for this international aviation facility, it was also important to create a comfortable outdoor environment for the frequent breaks that Air Traffic Controllers are required to take and the new landscape has been designed to provide just that.