Walker Ranch Senior Center (District 9)San Antonio, Texas


This new state-of-the-art facility provides San Antonio’s senior citizens with the daily opportunity to interact, learn, play, exercise, relax, and dine- all under a single roof.

The site is bounded on the north by Walker Ranch Park, a natural outdoor amenity-but also in large part a flood plain.  Crisscrossing utility and drainage easements further limit the area available for the building.  The design solution nestles the building between easements while allowing its long northern façade to engage the wooded park.

The plan is arranged to create a legible, intuitive visiting experience.  The main entry, situated in the center of the south façade, provides a clear, straightforward access point.  The central reception space serves as both control point and, in combination with the glazed monitor above, an organizing visual element for the plan. Functions are separated with ‘loud’ activities on the west end and ‘quiet’ activities on the east.  The main dining/ meeting space’s glazed north wall and wraparound porch look directly into the park.  A wide hallway system connects all functions and provides opportunities to exercise, relax, and engage with others.

The building’s envelope is intended to evoke its South Texas location, with local materials and residential forms.  A series of simple, limestone clad blocks on the north and south façades project from a central metal panel clad mass running east-west.  The stone and metal faces are punctuated by large expanses of glass. A standing-seam metal roof with broad overhangs caps the design and reinforces the scaled-up residential aesthetic.