The Crossings



  • The project encompasses 210 acres of land in the Texas Hill Country.
  • The project conserves habitats for threatened and endangered species.
  • Erosion control strategies are implemented, by selecting plants for root stability, placing walls to divert water, and using geotextiles for stabilization.
  • A pre-design soil assessment was conducted, allowing for healthy soils to be conserved and others to be amended.
  • Soil protection zones were communicated through a soil management plan.


  • 140 new trees were planted on a forested site.
  • The project fosters habitat creation by enhancing the native planting scheme.
  • The project avoids annual planting.
  • Native and drought tolerant planting were used on-site.


  • 92% of surfaces are permeable to maximize rainfall that percolates to the Edwards Aquifer.
  • Native grass beds, drainage gravel, and iris beds filter water before it drains into Lake Travis.
  • The detention pond holds and filters water.
  • The new trees have the potential for intercepting 70,000 gallons of water. The entire site's 1,000+ trees can capture approximately 570,000 gallons of water, which is the volume of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.*

Carbon, Energy + Air 

  • The new trees can sequester 16,800 pounds of carbon annually, which offset an average car driving 22,853 miles.**
  • The project uses locally sourced materials.
  • The project reduces light pollution with cutoff light fixtures.
  • During construction, pollutants were controlled and retained.
  • Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was minimized through prohibited smoking on-site.


  • Locally sourced materials were chosen for the reduction in embedded energy and sustainable material manufacturing.
  • Reusable vegetation, rocks, and soil were diverted from disposal.


  • The project supports mental restoration with a variety of spaces that immerse the user in the landscape.
  • The project provides optimum site accessibility, safety, and wayfinding.
  • The kitchen has a garden producing food on-site.
  • Educational programs are held on-site.
  • A holistic retreat center features walking trails, yoga, and meditation.
  • The property was sold in 2010. Now called Travaasa Austin, it has incredible reviews winning the 2014 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award, 2015 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and GreenLeader’s Platinum Status. The landscape has proven to be timeless.

* The tree average for water interception is 500 gallons. American’s use an average of 100 gallons of water per day (EPA’s water trivia facts) Colloquial volume of an Olympic pool is 660,000 US gallons assuming the depth of 2m. 

** 120 pounds of CO2 per tree annually (This number is based on an average from the National Tree Benefits Calculator) One car produces an average of 8,320 pounds of CO2 per year. Each vehicle drives an average of 11,318 miles per year. (The Code of Federal Regulations - 40 CFR 600.113)

The Crossings

Located on 210 acres of fragile land in the Texas Hill Country, The Crossings is a destination spa and wellness center overlooking beautiful Lake Travis. With 70 guest rooms distributed in eight lodges, The Crossings campus features a carriage house, welcome center, sanctuary, dining hall, wellness center among numerous landscape amenities.  

Incorporating green design elements was a high client priority. The landscape architect limited pervious paving across the site to maximize the amount of rainfall that percolates through to the Edwards Aquifer. Both rainwater and effluent are harvested on-site to feed the irrigation system and most materials on the site are locally sourced. With the exception of the two highly manicured areas near the visitor center, the site is planted extensively with native or drought tolerant material.

Location: Austin, TX
Team: Hatch Partnership Architects
Art: Matt Mckinney
Awards: ASLA Texas Chapter Merit Award