Last week, the Board of Directors of VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, Texas, officially approved plans previously presented by the architecture design team from EE&K a Perkins Eastman company to construct Phase 2 of the Westside Multimodal Transit Center. This construction award comes mere weeks before the groundbreaking, which is scheduled for July.
The new 90,000-sf development will principally service San Antonio’s growing network of city bus and VIA PRIMO bus rapid transit service, including real-time arrival updates, as well as become an iconic public plaza for the city. The design team is led by Principal Stan Eckstut FAIA and Associate Principal Jonathan Cohn AIA, LEED AP.
The public plaza, comprising a full city block, will be encircled by a varied metal and glass Grand Canopy, approximately 50% of which is covered by a photovoltaic panel array that will generate a large portion of the electricity required to light the facility. The plaza’s expansive interior will feature a significant stand of cedar elm trees, while a permeable ground surface and underground detention systems will control stormwater runoff.
The EE&K a Perkins Eastman company team includes local architects Ford, Powell & Carson Inc., led by Principal Jay Louden AIA and Senior Associate Michael Guarino, and landscape architect Lawrence C. Clark ASLA, Vice President of Bender Wells Clark Design.
“This will be the next great place for San Antonio, and not just for transit riders” says Eckstut. “First and foremost, the plan for Westside Multimodal accommodates the site’s various transit elements, but the space is designed to draw people in for food, entertainment and leisure. We have designed a public square that will encourage future private investments and continue to revitalize the city’s Westside District.”
The design vision for Westside Multimodal Transit Center balances mass transit with open green space, mixed-use development, public art, educational signage, and a host of sustainable design features. The Center’s main entranceway will be located at the corner of Frio and Houston Streets, and clearly identifiable from long distances thanks to the planned “Light Tower” installation, designed by local San Antonio artist Bill Fitzgibbons.
The site is adjacent to the historic and newly renovated I&GN Station, which served as inspiration for the final design. The new facility will also further expand B-Cycle, the city’s bike share system, and plans are in the works for the Transit Center to accommodate future rail service as well.