Text description provided by the architects. Mark Odom Studio repurposed shipping containers to create a one-of-a-kind experience at Austin’s exciting new hospitality complex Parmer Ponds The Pitch. The Pitch -- Austin’s distinct hospitality and entertainment complex for Austin FC soccer fans and the community debuted this spring. The two-acre site is a one-of-a-kind destination hub for retail, food, office and outdoor gatherings served from flexible two-story repurposed shipping containers. The unique project was designed by Austin award-winning architecture and interiors firm, Mark Odom Studio.
“The developer, Karlin Real Estate, was interested in using shipping containers; they had not worked with a container concept before and really wanted to lean into the idea,” says Mark Odom, founding principal of Mark Odom Studio. “We have previously studied the use of containers for commercial, retail and multi-family designs all of which were un-built; we feel that The Pitch is the first project of its kind in Austin and the region.”
The complex comprises 23 repurposed shipping containers of two standard container modular sizes: 8 X 20 foot and 8 X 40 foot. The containers are stacked to create two stories and then clustered into five separate building pods, with varying building square footages, that function differently for the users while creating a dense visual and physical experience and view onto the landscape.
“Each building pod is organized and stacked differently while they all use the same custom detailing, material and color. This allows the focus on the true form of each container to be consistent,” says Odom. Ground level containers serve as food and beverage outlets for premiere local food vendors. Second level containers are multifunctional as viewing decks, interior conditioned gathering spaces, private office space, private party rooms and Austin FC game watching parties. Custom stairs, vertical tube steel railings, and overhead trellises were carefully designed and executed tying together each level.
Three 40-foot-tall containers were placed on ends to serve as wayfinding nodes from a far -- while functioning as restroom facilities and electrical rooms at ground level: each has 40-foot interior vertical perspective views to the skylight above. A mass timber pavilion with custom steel apertures further anchors the program between the Austin FC practice stadium and The Pitch. The once flat site was heavily landscaped to help the containers nestle and absorb the grade changes. As each pod was curated differently, the experience and views will also entice users to walk around and explore.
To achieve the level of execution needed on this unique project, Mark Odom Studio worked closely with the developers, Leap Structures, Citadel, and Makehaus. “We approached this project as a collaborative team effort and the complexity required all disciplines to problem solve together from feasibility schematics through construction. The timeline was fast, and the team was pushing from start to finish; The entire team was crucial in making the deadline,” says Odom. Additionally, Mark Odom Studio handled the exterior and interior finish selections as well as the interior and exterior furniture selections and installation.