The Trail Foundation, Johnson Creek Trailhead Restrooms


The Trail Foundation


600 SF


Studio 8 Architects

The 600 square foot restroom facility was constructed of steel and specialty board formed concrete created by small, tightly spaced boards to create an organic layering while maintaining a monolithic appearance, much like the exposed limestone along the creek bed. Due to the approximated 1.5 million visitors to the Butler Creek Trail a year, it was extremely important that the design minimize maintenance needs for the four stall restroom. We carefully balanced safety and privacy all while factoring in the ambient noise from the freeway overhead. The sink area is unisex and shared in an open, see-and-be-seen space, akin to the Trail itself. Sabre Commercial did the construction “at cost” and donated the profit and fee back to The Trail Foundation.

To help give an open feel to the facility, a rebar fence was constructed to replicate blades of grass. The concrete walls are made of board formed concrete which required a finish carpenter to be hired to frame the specialty formwork which promoted the natural appearance of the project design. The restrooms boast polished concrete sink tops with an integrated concrete sink, both should stand the test of time and avoid the wear and tear pitfalls associated with a facility that that is exposed to the elements as well as high use. Finally, native landscaping was utilized to help with water conservation.

Even with the unique design, location, and weather conditions the project was completed in 20 weeks. After it was completed, the restroom became another symbol of The Trail Foundation’s hard work and dedication to Austin’s active, nature-centered, culture.

2013 – Austin AGC Outstanding Construction Award Winning Project