The program for this project involved providing a central street car station at Convention Plaza in the heart of historic downtown San Antonio. The scope included street car staging and boarding on both sides of the Plaza and an elevator and stair component connecting the station to the River Walk level below.
The essential design challenge was to respect the site’s historic context and the existing urban fabric while addressing an appropriate presence for the street car function. The design solution composed of a series of stone columns connected by a winding ribbon of steel and punctuated by cantilevered awnings and the stair/elevator block. This arrangement creates an airy open structure without sacrificing visual impact. A series of custom designed ceramic art panels are inlaid into the columns, creating an outdoor art gallery along the street frontage.
This project also required the resolution of complex technical problems, including maintaining the structural integrity of streets and bridges, working within the framework of a large existing utility infrastructure, and addressing construction staging issues on a restricted urban site.