Julie Wright's presentation - Winner Celebration of Excellence - Texas A&M College of Architecture

Julie Wright's presentation – Winner Celebration of Excellence – Texas A&M College of Architecture



you hello I am Julie right and first of all I would like to thank my committee I sell Armenia is my chair and I have Gabriella Campanile as my co-chair and also Cecilia Giusti with the department of urban planning who's not with us here today but she was a great help as well for my project I wanted to do something in my home city of San Antonio recently there's been a lot of talk about the San Antonio missions which are a very historic aspect of the city very important to Texas and America in general but they have recently been nominated as a unesco world heritage site which will potentially bring in a lot of new tourism into the city of san antonio which is already mostly based on tourism due to the Alamo and the Riverwalk and things like that so my project will focus on all four enmesh or all five missions not just the Alamo which you can see here there's also Mission concepción San Jose San Juan and Espada so for a little bit of a brief history of the missions and their importance to the city and they were began as Spanish colonies established by the Franciscan Order of monks in Texas in the 1700s they were the first settlements in the area and they were established to kind of promote trade and the religion with the indigenous people of the area and they were very influential in kind of establishing outposts for the Spanish for the Spanish rule in America and later on throughout South America and the rest of the United States so here's a picture of the construction of Mission concepción and then throughout history they've been kind of repurposed and reused in many different ways as the city kind of grew around them at one point they were used as military barracks and fortresses defending off militants coming in and trying to take over the span ish territories and then later on this is a picture taken from the 40s they were used as schools community centers kind of things like that but one thing that they have always remained and still are today our active parishes of the Franciscan Order so Roman Catholic churches so these missions are linked by the San Antonio River which is a very kind of important aspect of the city itself and its growth over the years the river has been ignored and channelized to prevent flooding but recently it has been redeveloped and rehabilitated to its natural habitat which is great because it also links all of the missions like they were in the past so I really wanted to focus on this aspect of linking and creating a network from mission to Mission there's about a 10 mile span from the very most southern mission which is mission espada on the very bottom and then the alamo is actually north of here in central downtown and the alamo is not included in the historic park because it hasn't been preserved and as well taken care of as the other missions but it is proposed to be part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site so there's kind of a disconnect that has to be addressed when bringing refocusing the tourism aspect of the missions away from the Alamo and to all the other missions to the south here you can see the green outline is what is known as the River South Area management plan and this district is kind of outlined as a an area that needs to be redeveloped and rethought about and when bringing bringing in more tourism and uh more community-based functions into this area of town to boost the economy which is currently underperforming and really lacks a lot of infrastructure that the rest of the city does have so this whole area really needs to be thought about and a great way to do that is to tie into the cultural and historic aspect of the missions that are all along the river here here I I did a study of a witch mission I would like to focus on from my project so I was looking at the distances between the mission and the river which will be the sole connector through the entire network of missions as well as its centrality to the other missions because as people visit the missions they will likely go to all five either biking or walking along the trail or taking their car so it's kind of it's a series of historic landmarks that go together it's not just one mission there are five of them so I chose to focus on Mission San Jose mostly due to its centrality between all the missions it also has a little bit more existing infrastructure as far as the city and surrounding community here is an aerial view of the mission itself here's the main church and in the surrounding wall this is also the most complete mission that's still surviving um most of the missions do not have the entire wall intact which also contains housing and different functions from the the pest community um so obviously this site is kind of screaming for something here it's also it's been recently redeveloped to encourage these activities of community and history and culture in the neighborhood by implementing this really nice library here and then right here is the mission drive-in theater which the whole site at once used to have five screens as a drive-in theater now there's just one and it's kind of become a hub within this neighborhood for gathering and festivals and things like that so I want to focus my project in this area and more extensively a master plan to connect this site with the existing Mission reach portion of the Riverwalk here and to the mission here across this street also I guess I should say my project the the purpose is to really bring in the history and cultural aspects to the site by combining family-friendly oriented activities as well as tourism and small local businesses all together into one so here's my site and I'm going to kind of walk through the process of my master planning and and locating my specific building so here we can see the Mission reach portion of the Riverwalk to the north and then the mission branch library here is something that I really wanted to respond to because it's a it's just a really nice building and it brings in a lot of the community already it's on this axis with the dome of the mission to the south and so I wanted to respect that and continue it by just rotating that access with my site as well as using kind of a similar set back to create a more open pastoral experience from my building which will be located here as a journey to the mission itself so there's my building then surrounding the mission to its immediate north is a street that I'm proposing to make completely pedestrian and biker friendly by cutting it off to vehicle traffic because it's not really used right now this will also create a more of a friendly place to redirect attention to the north side of the mission as opposed to the south side here where it currently is another really important aspect of this site is the Ethel Wilson Harris house right there Ethel Wilson Harris was very well known in San Antonio in the 50s and 60s she's kind of an heiress a socialite but she she donated a lot of her time and resources into preserving the missions specifically this one here mission Stan Jose she was the first to kind of start the National Historic Park and she built her house on the site to kind of oversee the missions um she also developed all of the tile work in the factories that that created these kind of spanish-style tiles that we see all over the Riverwalk today and so she's a very historic figure in the city of San Antonio and especially to the missions so I want to kind of repurpose her house which you can see here's one of the tiles um and here's an inside view of this really awesome fireplace it's very quintessential mid-century modern house but it's being used as an office right now by the park so there's a need for office space just functional spaces for them so I'm trying to repurpose this existing house into more of a museum as part of this promenade from my building to the museum into the mission also directly next to my site is a mission drivin which I want to connect my building with with this main axis here that also connects to the existing River and bike trail here that leads to the river up here which is one of the main ways that people will be entering my building I also want to bring in a Street connecting these main streets but also adding this link to the river here and secondary streets within the site to create more of a pedestrian a storefront idea and last but not least is the current existing building or Visitor Center to the south here's a picture of it it's not very you wouldn't really know what it is it's just kind of there on the site it almost looks like a middle school to me but there's no sense of entry no sense of community it's kind of closed off from the rest of the site there's no real relation to the mission and to the city as a whole so I want to repurpose the existing office that our offices that are in the Ethel Wilson Harris house and the smaller temporary buildings here relocate them to the existing visitor center move the visitor center to my building up north also there is a grist mill that is largely ignored because the main entrance is from the south right now so refocusing the entrance to the north would create opportunities for people to visit the house the grist mill and the mission all at once instead of just going to the mission and then leaving and the mission itself has these really great domes that are continued through throughout every mission even though they're all very different the domes and arches are really prominent and so that's what I wanted to bring into my building which here's kind of a a view of it from the street to do this I had to I I needed to develop some kind of super roof I was thinking of the organization of the missions themselves they're kind of walled cities so there's this boundary but everything community based happens within that boundary and so I was thinking about a super roof and how that can create kind of a subconscious boundary that contains different functions and different aspects of community so I took this idea of the dome from the missions and kind of extrapolated from there making it more wavy and developing a module of structure of these large domes which would only need six columns to support it it's a 200 by 300 foot area and so my focus a lot of my upfront time on developing this truss system to support the super roof here here you can see a section through the entire site so here is my building here and then there's a promenade kind of over a ravine there would be a small bridge and then through that street that I would close off to the mission itself here something that I really wanted to bring into my building is this idea of the axis from the building to the mission um opening it up completely making it very public and so you can see here through the lobby there's a covered outdoor plaza area that steps down and is very open that provides direct access to the to the bridge and to the mission here's another view here you can see the how the structure changes from the dome at its height to the trusses here or there flat here are the elevations you can see the mission peeking out behind here is very tall and it's I wanted to create opportunities to see it from many different places within my building here's a view from the street with the existing library in front and you can see the large open space here connected by the trail and then just off the screen would be the mission so I provided some parking underneath because I did build it up on somewhat of a plinth it also contains an auditorium for small videos in mechanical space but here on the first floor level you can really see the connection of the axis with the with the mission and the axis to the mission drive-in and the trail here that I really wanted to keep as kind of an organizing element within the project so as you can see there are two main structures under the super roof that are that have completely independent structures the first one contains the visitor center and a makerspace or studio space for local artists to kind of bring the community in and then the second the second volume to the right contains a restaurant and then a banquet hall on the second floor so here's the lobby um for the visitor center with a gift shop but you can see straight through the covered plaza to the mission here I also have some the main course is just kind of an organizing element there here's a view from from right outside of the visitor center to the mission here and this is the second floor so just more exhibit space but on the second floor is a banquet hall the missions are used largely for since they still are active parishes they're used for quinceañeras weddings baptisms lots of events that are really central to Hispanic culture which all of these events usually end up with a large after party but there's really no place to go in the immediate area so I really that was one of my big goals was to provide a space for for things like that to move across the street from the mission to my building so here's the banquet hall with large of views out to the mission itself here are some views of the of the visitors center Lobby and here's the Ethel Wilson Harris tile that I want to implement as my core she was really central to the missions themselves in their preservation so I think she should be the core of my building as well also in the in the lobby the dome is exposed as the actual ceiling for this portion of the building as well as in the banquet hall which spans two domes so here you can see there's a mission tower right there and some different views and then there's a third level Terrace that is above the banquet hall which provides rooftop views that are between the super roof and the the lower structure which you can see here so you can overlook the covered plaza see the missions up close and personal and even here you can look down into the banquet hall and see kind of what's going on which provides a lot of visual connection and interest so here is a view of of the South portion of the covered plaza which is mostly shaded it can serve as places for many different cultural activities like dancing performances there could be live bands farmers markets festivals all sorts of things and here is a better view of kind of this axis that is raised that connects to the mission drive-in theater and so this is kind of the final view of the approach from the mission back to the building and in its connection to the rest of the site which is which needs further development and that's it


7 thoughts on “Julie Wright's presentation – Winner Celebration of Excellence – Texas A&M College of Architecture

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