Austin has always been known as a mecca for music, with musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Janis Joplin, and Iron and Wine all getting their start playing at the multitude of music venues located in and around the Live Music Capital of the World. Austin has seen phenomenal growth in the last several decades which has put pressure on the local establishments, but our honky tonks and music venues always seem to find a way to persist – even if it means in new incarnations. Austin establishments Antone’s and Emo’s are great examples of this – and now, we can add the Backyard to that list.

A legendary spot in the rolling hills of Bee Cave, the Backyard first opened in 1993, occupying its stage with greats like Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and naturally…Willie Nelson. Development pressure originally closed the Backyard; but we’re happy to report that the Backyard is BACK, with a new location. RVi was selected to lead the landscape architectural design of the site through our relationship with local architecture firm Studio Steinbomer.

This project is unlike most music venues because in addition to the amphitheater seating approximately 4,000, the project will offer an entire entertainment complex featuring bars, restaurants, smaller live music venues, a public park, retail shops, and farmer’s markets – all developed as a community of buildings representative of Texas’s vast architectural heritage. Come for a drink and stay for the show!

With a project of this magnitude, traditional landscape architectural tools don’t always tell the whole story. It’s here that RVi was able to employ some of our newest digital innovation services– interactive mapping, drones, 3D visualization, and virtual reality. These tools helped the client and the project team get a better understanding of the project site and allowed us to make more informed decisions during the design process. Using interactive mapping and drone technology, we were better able to grasp the challenging topography of the site. As we moved into design, multi-disciplinary 3d visualization and virtual reality allowed everyone to truly experience the design and make subtle tweaks that will enhance the project as it progresses. Check out the ESRI Storymap to see these tools in action!