moontower interiors

Authentically Austin: How LV Collective’s Unique Design at Moontower Won Over the Market  

With everything from immersive art galleries to a neverending lineup of live music, Austin, Texas is a city known for its passionate creative community. The state capital is a hub for expression, boasting its rich history at every corner.

That’s why when LV Collective conceptualized Moontower, a student housing community in the West Campus neighborhood adjacent to the University of Texas at Austin, we knew the special role the design team would play in this project.

So many student housing properties in the West Campus area utilize a cookie cutter approach; the standardized designs lend a sterile feel that make it hard for students to feel at home. However, Moontower had the opportunity to challenge the status quo. With its prime location at 2204 San Antonio Street, LV embraced the potential to play off the city’s energy and create a space that’s authentically Austin.

Moontower Student Housing project in Austin, Texas

A Residential Renaissance

With one step inside Moontower, you’ll not only see, but feel how design separates this project. The high-end finishes, inviting furniture, and custom-designed Moontower scent give this property a boutique hospitality feel much different than the typical ambiance of most student housing projects.

When designing Moontower, LV’s Director of Interior and Curation, Chelsea Kloss, drew inspiration from design-forward hotels and restaurants she experienced in international travel.

“The design approach was to create common areas that are akin to residential or hospitality environments in contrast to the institutional or commercial applications at other properties,” said Kloss.

Party at the Moontower  

Moontower’s unique personality began with an intentional name. 

Austin is the only city left in the world with functioning moontowers, massive lighting applications which were used before modern-day street lamps. They were made famous in cult classic Dazed and Confused in which Matthew McConaughey’s character declares, “Party at the moontower.”

A project that gained its name from Austin’s iconic moontowers and the movie that made them famous, it was important to LV to maintain a local focus when designing the community’s spaces.

Moontower ATX exterior

Durability and Design Go Hand-in-hand

A major challenge for developers is ensuring that their properties stand the test of time. However, without some creativity, this obstacle can translate into the incorporation of few decorations, cold materials, and bland finishes.

LV Collective embraced the idea that using vintage rugs and materials with inherent patina would allow for amenity spaces to endure heavy use without compromising look and feel for durability. 

Additionally, in lieu of built-ins which are standard in shared spaces in student housing projects, we opted for furniture pieces which feel less bulky and more like home.

Living room at Moontower Austin
Kitchen close up at Moontower Austin
Study conference room at Moontower Austin
Open lounge and study space at Moontower Austin
moontower interiors
Barstool seating at Moontower Austin
Pool at Moontower Austin

“No Two Spaces Alike”

To uphold the community’s design integrity and maintain a local feel, the design team implemented the mantra, “no two spaces alike.” We took special effort to create unique identities within each and every conference room, study nook, lounge area and wellness studio.

LV gave special consideration to curate a unique art package and incorporate art on every floor, tapping local showrooms and vendors to create an authentic, Austin-cool environment which also helped promote small business during the pandemic.

We focused on creating well-appointed, beautiful, ergonomic spaces that pack a punch and deliver on the students wish list versus relying solely on excess square footage to seal the deal. LV’s boutique approach meant that we could fit more onto a small footprint without compromising resident experience. 

Bright colors, cheerful patterns and oversized lighting promote higher energetic vibrations and keep students engaged and collaborative. Eclectic furniture selections, changes in wallpaper, and unique lighting allowed for special moments through the property. This keeps things interesting for the residents day after day and highlights the connection to the unique and valuable students they were designed for.

Open study space at Moontower Austin
Yoga room at Moontower Austin

Design Success = Leasing Success

Moontower’s spaces weren’t just programmed with students in mind; we worked alongside student interns to design amenities that students want and need. 

Students were craving study areas to work solo or with a group without having to leave the property, so we put emphasis on designing inspiring, effective study spaces for the studious UT crowd. While neighboring properties offer study rooms that are white boxes, institutional and underutilized, Moontower study rooms are alive and packed like a thriving WeWork. 

At Moontower, a bike ride is a different experience than a gym workout. LV included the industry’s first dedicated spin room. Designed to be dark and moody, the space feels like a boutique spin studio operating within the building. Moontower’s amenity areas promote community and relationship building. 

Spaces like the yoga room, flooded with natural light and earthy elements, emphasize the importance of mental wellness, while the rooftop pool deck allows for large and small gatherings all with stunning views of UT Tower. 

By listening to students’ needs and delivering on their desires, students were excited to sign leases. LV saw the value in incorporating design-forward finishes and furniture to entice the students to want to be a part of this elevated community, and the students take such pride in their home that they take exceptional care of their shared amenity spaces. Win win.