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Why does the roof on Austin's 'Jenga Tower' look unfinished?

The crown on top of The Independent Austin has been described as a 'stunning disappointment.'

AUSTIN, Texas — Construction on the high-end residential skyscraper The Independent Austin began in early 2016 and, upon its completion, quickly drew criticism from the community.

A Change.org petition claimed that "the top of the Independent Austin looks unfinished and is a stunning disappointment to an otherwise well-executed skyscraper." The petition has received almost 1,400 signatures.

Despite the criticisms and calls for change, Brett Rhode, the chief architect of the project with Austin-based Rhode: Partners, and Ryan Fetgatter, a developer with Aspen Heights, stand by the unique roof design.

"I think that if people are feeling something about the design, we did something very, very right," Fetgatter said.

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But that doesn't answer the question, why does the roof look unfinished? Rhode provides some insight into that.

"There are these diagonal braces that stabilize the structure in the wind," Rhode said. "We didn't want to conceal that. We wanted to show that and have that be part of the overall design."

Even with all of the complaints, The Independent has already sold almost all of its residences, which range in price from $400,000 to $5 million.

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