Part art, part sustainability effort and complete genius, the SunFlowers public art display marks the gateway to Austin’s Mueller Development. SunFlowers was designed and created by Mags and Jajos Harries, and it is quickly becoming an Austin cultural landmark,. It was selected from more than 30 proposals that were submitted from around the country by a panel of art and design professionals, as well as community input.
The Mueller Development is an urban sustainability community right in the heart of Austin. Using the former Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, the City of Austin envisioned and developed a mixed-use urban neighborhood that is sustainable, practical and vibrant. The Mueller Development includes housing, commercial businesses, parks and open areas, all of which meet incredible sustainability standards. Some of those standards include play scapes in the development constructed from recycled materials and the planting of one tree for every four parking spaces. Other efforts include mass transit, the reclamation of gray water for plant irrigation, and all homes carrying at least a 3-star Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) rating, with many of them 4 and 5-star rated.
The SunFlowers sculpture welcomes residents and visitors alike to the Mueller Development. Besides being a visually powerful statement of what the community is about, the SunFlowers themselves contribute to the sustainability effort. The fifteen 18-to-20-foot tall, flower-shaped metal sculptures collect the sun’s rays onto solar panels, converting them into energy that lights the structures at night. The SunFlowers also put extra kilowatts of electrical energy into the Mueller Development grid, and they even provide shade along one of the development’s many biking paths.
The SunFlowers project has gained international recognition for the Mueller Development, along with many other sustainability efforts. Few sustainability communities have seen the rapid and widespread success that has been attained in Mueller. It has been named the “Sustainable Community of the Year” by Developer magazine and recognized as one of the “Top Ten Sustainable Communities” for several years in a row by Natural Home magazine. In addition, Mueller has been named “Master Planned Community of the Year” and “Best Overall Community” by organizations within Austin.
The Mueller Development is definitely the community of choice for those who are committed to sustainable living, vibrant community life, and beautiful, expressive public art.