Given Austin’s reputation for unchecked weirdness (I can’t vouch for this firsthand so I’m just going to have to believe the bumper stickers), I’m guessing that rubbernecking is as common to Austinites as it is to look both ways before crossing the street. Well, it looks like the city’s residents just got a notable new “something” to gawk at: The East Village, an eco-friendly, mixed-use building with a dramatic, traffic-stopping exterior.
Designed by Bercy Chen Studio, The East Village, also known as Block 19, boasts a “second skin” or “steel sunscreen." This brightly hued, multifaceted steel panel screen spans across the south and west facades of the building, shading the residential units from the hot Texas sun and acting as a giant guardrail for the balconies. 
Inside the building, there’s retail and commercial space on the ground level and 20 eco-condominium loft spaces above. Green features that "showcases the architects’ incorporation of sustainability into the fundamentals of the building," include low-VOC paints, low-e windows, R30 insulated roofing, R19 insulated walls, passive insect control, on-site recycling (construction waste was also recycled), and rooftop gardens that are open to the building’s residents. The East Village is located on East 11th Street in a recently revitalized area that’s conducive to a car-free lifestyle: public transportation options are convenient and many amenities are within walking/biking distance.
As reported by Jetson Green, prices for homes in the building range from $130,000 for a studio and $290,00 for a two-bedroom loft space. I’m digging The East Village although I generally show away from buildings with screaming exterior colors. What do you think?
Via [Jetson Green]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Keeping Austin green (and red and orange and yellow)
With its giant steel 'sunscreen,' Austin's East Village brings flamboyant color and a dash of serious eco-cred to a once-neglected area of Texas's capital city.