Keeping Mueller Weird with Local Art and Austin History

The leasing center of the Mueller multifamily residences, one of the luxury apartment complexes available in the area, includes a model apartment available for viewing. This was staged by Page designer Kate Dibble to help people envision what it would look and feel like to live there. She gives us insight on the process and inspiration behind the design.

The 700 acre master-planned and designed Mueller neighborhood was once the site of the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. “We drew inspiration from the historic 1943 bow-trussed Browning Hangar that stands at the edge of the property for our design,” Kate explains. “We wanted to connect our space back to Mueller’s aviation history.” The apartment’s clubroom features artwork of the control tower that also still stands today. She worked with local artist Patricia Chapa, who specializes in oil paintings of classic Mueller Airport scenes and screen prints of the control tower, to create the triptych piece and other paintings in the space.

Austin is well known for its entertainment and healthy lifestyle, and this project provides amenities that encourage a similar culture. It features 13 miles of hike and bike trails and is within walking distance to Lake Park. As Kate describes it “Mueller, like Austin, is a community of people who value an active lifestyle.  Austin residents also treat their pets like family members so the design team wanted to give both aspects a proper recognition by incorporating bikes and pets into the art in the model and leasing center.” This includes a collection of photographs shot by photographer Seth Casteel from a series named “Underwater Dogs”. Seth also works with local shelters to photograph homeless pets to increase adoption rates.

She also used energetic colors to reflect the city’s unique and vibrant culture. Kate mentions, “One of the fun parts about the model was selecting the series of concert posters behind the bed.” She attended the Flatstock exhibition during SXSW to curate a collection of local Texas artists’ works to hang in the model room. Each is an original screen print and is numbered and signed by the artist. “We love supporting our local artists and craftsmen at every opportunity, and it’s a special touch that really makes this model unique,” she says.

Kate was also on the Page design team for the leasing office and amenities spaces. She designed one of the featured art pieces, which included a large installation of powder coated bike wheels that hang in the lobby. She worked with a local blacksmith, Hawkeye Glenn, to design and build custom mounts to hang them on the wall. “Not that it will ever matter, but the wheels do spin!” Kate exclaims.

Mueller has more than 5,700 homes, over 4 million square feet of office and retail space and 140 acres of public open space. The area is noted for its small community feel in a large urban neighborhood despite its considerable size. It doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that Page team members have asked for leasing information after touring the complex.

Contributed By

Kate Dibble