• Project Type Civic/Institutional

  • Location Austin, TX

  • Status Complete

  • Collaborators Hutson Gallagher

The French Legation

The French Legation is the oldest wood-framed house in Austin, TX. This historic French-Creole style house was built in 1841 at the French Legation State Historic Site. Three additional buildings occupy the site: a kitchen, carriage house, and privy which were all built in the historic style and date from the 1960s and 70s. This 2.5 acre wooded site is the highest point in downtown Austin and offers sweeping views of the city.
In 2017, the French Legation was transferred to the Texas Historical Commission (THC) along with $1.5 million for emergency structural maintenance. The project was later awarded a $250,000 heritage grant from the City of Austin, allowing for a second phase of construction. Studio Balcones collaborated with the THC and Hutson|Gallagher to complete a Master Plan for the property, and to design and administer the construction of improvements and enhancements of the first two phases. Studio Balcones helped renovate the existing facilities and design a new park, cafe and event space. These new outdoor spaces utilize reclaimed materials and will be open to the public for all to enjoy.
Work Performed by Studio Balcones: Cost Estimation, Landscape Design, Lighting Design, and Project Manager overseeing all phases of design including Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents and Construction Observation.