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North America’s first mass timber hotel opens in Austin

Acclaimed Texan architecture firm Lake | Flato has teamed up with hospitality company Bunkhouse to create Hotel Magdalena, an 89-room establishment that is also the first mass timber hotel constructed in North America. Located on Music Lane in Austin’s popular South Congress neighborhood, Hotel Magdalena takes cues from its surroundings with its landscaping that evokes Barton Springs as well as with programming that celebrates the area’s history and live music. Large windows open up to patios, terraces and balconies, connecting the hotel with views of downtown while allowing natural light and ventilation to flow through the building.

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Opened in Fall 2020, Hotel Magdalena is Bunkhouse’s latest and largest hotel project to date. The hotel consists of four new buildings assembled in pieces with mass timber construction. Timber is deliberately left exposed in the ceilings and the exterior elevated walkways that link the four buildings. Inspired by the sloping topography of Barton Springs, the hotel sits at varying elevations and features a Ten Eyck Landscape Architects-designed landscape plan with native Texan species such as Bigtooth Maples, Redbuds, Meyer Lemon Trees and Little Gem Magnolia.

Related: Hood River’s mixed-use Outpost achieves industrial chic with mass timber

two wood chairs facing hotel pool
white hotel room with green accents

The 89 guest rooms and suites comprise a mix of types ranging from top-floor Treehouse Studios that include up to 50 square feet of outdoor space to spacious Sunset Suites that face west with balconies offering 65 square feet of outdoor space. In addition to leafy outdoor walkways and a variety of balconies and terraces that open the interiors to cooling cross-breezes and daylight, the hotel further strengthens its indoor-outdoor connection with its materials palette, from the custom walnut wood built-in beds and inlay desks to the poured concrete floors with exposed aggregate that mimic Texan river rocks.

white hotel room with two beds
bathroom with large mirror and red tiles

Amenities at Hotel Magdalena include community-driven experiences such as live music and nature walks, a guest-only pool bar next to a 900-square-foot sunken swimming pool, a full-service restaurant and an events space. Rates start at $275 a night.

+ Lake | Flato

Photography by Nick Simonite via Lake | Flato

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