The Project Vision for the new Bexar County Public Works Office Building along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River integrates the functional components of the program into the future vision and Legacy of the County along the newly expanded and redeveloped banks of the San Antonio River. With its commanding views of the San Antonio skyline and proximity to the Missions World Heritage Site, this prominent location affords the opportunity for this building to become a “Lantern” on the river and to distinguish itself as a good neighbor to the Mission Reach. The vision for the project as expressed by the project stakeholders included the following important attributes: legacy, bold design, transparency, state of the art, complimentary to the river, functionality, great design, maintainable and Iconic.
The building will be divided into public and private areas. The public areas including lobby, board room, reception desk and plan drop will be centrally located in the building on the first floor and will have access to a panoramic river and city view as visitors and users are pulled through the space. Access from this interior public space to an elevated outdoor patio will provide an opportunity for social gatherings, special events and hospitality.
The private work areas flank the public lobby on both first and second floor to the east and west. The variety of views provided by the orientation of these wings will boast city and river views to the north and northeast and nicely landscaped views to the south and southwest of the property. The executive suite located on the second floor west of the public lobby will have a panoramic 180˚ view of the Concepcion Creek, City of San Antonio and San Antonio River. It is this elevated perch that will be the visible and Iconic “Lantern” on the river announcing the Bexar County presence. A centrally located conferencing center overlooking the lobby and connecting the private work areas on the second floor borrows exterior views to the river and landscaped views to the south west of the site.
The architectural and interior design for the new building will honor and respect the traditional diversity of San Antonio, Bexar County and, its natural setting. It will take advantage of the rich heritage to establish a civic identity for years to come. It will incorporate and celebrate the nature of the activities and services that the Department of Public Works brings to the people of Bexar County. The palette of materials that is suggested to be integrated into the design will consist of: natural stone, wood grain elements, metal panels, perforated shading metal panels, gabion retaining walls, terra cotta panels, and a natural color palette. The new building will also be a good steward of the environment and will incorporate low impact design, energy conservation, and “green” initiatives where practical.
Elevated Outdoor Patio