The Austin-based nonprofit UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum has launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking architectural firms to develop a Historic Preservation, Expansion, and Unification (HPEU) Plan for the organization’s grounds.
According to the UMLAUF website, in 1944 artists Charles and Angeline Umlauf purchased a home overlooking Barton Springs Road. Then, in 1985, the couple donated their home, property, art studio, and 168 sculptures to the City of Austin. After years of construction, 1991 marked the opening of both the UMLAUF gallery and terrace, designed by internationally recognized architect Lawrence Speck, and the institution’s sculpture garden, designed by landscape architect Aan Coleman. Most recently, the Roberta Crenshaw learning center opened in 2001.
Looking ahead to the future, the UMLAUF seeks to improve access to its 5.86-acre sculpture garden, museum, and grounds, while simultaneously preserving and incorporating the adjacent 1.93-acre elevated site where the Umlauf’s home, private sculpture garden, and studio are located. As stated in the RFP, a successful HPEU Plan will include “detailed design and implementation strategies and recommend a progressive and inclusive approach,” providing enhanced accessibility to the site for the public.
In a press release, UMLAUF Board of Directors President Jennie Branch remarked, “Our plan is to give every single visitor — from those who know little about Austin to those who frequent the Garden regularly — the opportunity to experience the full scope of this treasured site. As Austin has grown exponentially, the UMLAUF remains committed to sharing this vital part of the City’s history within eight acres of green space in the heart of Austin.”
UMLAUF Executive Director Katie Robinson Edwards, added, “This is the first step toward finally making the artist’s private home and studio accessible to the public. We want to securely preserve and showcase this major part of Austin’s cultural history for the benefit of the entire community.”
The deadline for firms to submit a proposal is Monday, May 1. UMLAUF recommends that interested firms set up a site visit during the month of April. For more information and to view the full RFP, visit the organization’s website.