San Antonio: World Heritage Center to Gain Concept Design Approval
Feature Illustration: The World Heritage Center as it would appear from Roosevelt Avenue. Source: Dunaway Associates.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — A request for conceptual approval to construct the World Heritage Center building and surrounding landscaping is expected to be approved by the Historic and Design Review Commission on Wednesday.
The World Heritage Center, a facility years in the planning, will be located at 3100 Roosevelt Avenue, adjacent to the Mission Branch Library and the Mission Marquee Drive-In.
In recent years, the city constructed the branch library and a YMCA building near each other in a campus like setting. The World Heritage Center site is being designed to match this campus setting. Tara Lindberg of Dunaway Associates is representing the owner–the city of San Antonio.
The proposed parking is for approximately 25 vehicles that are to be sited to the west of the new construction, between the new construction and Roosevelt Avenue. An extensive landscape buffer is proposed to screen parking from the right of way. Additionally, the proposed parking location follows that which has been established on site; specifically that of the adjacent Mission Branch Library.
The overall site plan. Courtesy: Dunaway Associates.
An existing curb cut on Roosevelt will provide access to a proposed drive aisle connecting to an existing drive aisle that currently connects to VFW Boulevard. The proposed drive aisle will feature brick pavement at locations where it intersects landscaping elements.
The new construction features elements that are consistent with those found historically in the immediate vicinity, such as archways, vaults, and other façade openings that refer to those found historically at the adjacent Mission San Jose.
The proposed exterior materials include stucco/plaster finishes, brick, stone and metal architectural panels. The city staff report recommended the stucco should feature traditional finishes and control joints that occur only at locations where there is a change in materials or a change in wall plane to create a continuous, monolithic appearance.
The floor plan breaks down spaces into four broad categories. The majority of the space is designed exhibit space and includes a lobby, front desk and a small store. There is a utilitarian services are in the center that includes restrooms, storage, a mechanical closet and a set-up room for catering. The remaining two sections are an open work area and a multipurpose area.
Lindberg’s project summary explains that a complex landscape plan was submitted that indicates the installation of a courtyard, various parking buggers, a bioswale, and other materials. A new loop road will provide parking and accessibility to the front of the new World Heritage Center, including a drop-off and bus parking location further down.
Concept rendering of the main entrance to World Heritage Center. Source: Dunaway Associates.
Entry at the intersection of Roosevelt Ave and VFW Boulevard will lead visitors through a smaller tree canopy, and specimen type planting area unique to the site. All the planting/trees will not block the view of the existing Mission Marquee.
A low wall and the bioswale planting will provide a buffer and screen the parked cars from the busy Roosevelt avenue. The World Heritage building will be surrounded by a decorative screen veranda and Mexican pebble paving.
The decorative screen veranda will prove functional and artistic, as plans are to coordinate with a local artist. As an extension of the building, the plaza space will have the ability to house larger events and extend even further into a landscaped plaza with cut stone paving and a low stone seat wall with recessed lighting.
The entire site will have landscape and irrigation. The materials on site will match and coordinate with the existing Mission Branch Library nearby.
The square footage of the World Heritage Center building was not provided. However, it was funded through a 2017 bond with a budget of $7.25 million. It is to have a height of 28 feet when measuring from ground to the top of it’s vault roof system.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.