View from the San Pedro Creek.
View of the new San Antonio Federal Courthouse from the San Pedro Creek. Credit: Courtesy / Muñoz and Company - Lake Flato Architects

Designers and architects of the San Antonio Federal Courthouse are putting finishing touches on the project’s design, which will seamlessly connect to the various pieces of local history surrounding it, officials told Bexar County commissioners Tuesday.

The site of the new courthouse, 214 W. Nueva St., sits right next to the developing San Pedro Creek Improvements Project, across from Casa Navarro, and atop the historic Camino Real.

“It’s a very important and beautiful site,” said Muñoz & Company CEO Henry Muñoz, whose local firm is collaborating with Lake|Flato Architects on the design. Officials plan to incorporate details and materials that make the building look contemporary, but also highlight the location’s history.

The latest design update relates to the Camino Real. The historic road that once connected Mexico City to San Antonio’s Spanish-colonial Missions, presidios, and other governmental centers runs right through the site.

Architects will honor the roadway throughout the building’s public spaces, Muñoz said. Current renderings don’t yet show it, but “paving patterns in this lobby will ultimately indicate that the Camino Real was right there,” he said.

A rendering of the interior of the future Federal Court House.
An updated rendering of the interior of the future Federal Courthouse. Credit: Courtesy / Muñoz and Company – Lake Flato Architects

The portion of San Pedro Creek that abuts the courthouse property is called “Agua Antigua,” Muñoz said, and will give visitors the feeling that the creek “has been excavated from the aquifer.

Designers want to make the side of the courthouse that faces the creek transparent, so that those inside can appreciate the improved waterway’s natural beauty.

Portion of San Pedro Creek underneath Nueva Street near the Bexar County Courthouse property. Rendering courtesy of Muñoz & Co.
Portion of San Pedro Creek underneath Nueva Street near the Federal Courthouse property. Credit: Courtesy / Muñoz & Co.

The new, 305,000 sq. ft. federal courthouse is being funded by the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which approved a little more than $144 million in funding last May for the United States General Services Administration (GSA) to build the structure.

Officials plan to break ground on the facility during the city’s Tricentennial festivities in 2018. The finished building will have eight courtrooms and 83 parking spaces situated along the San Pedro Creek.

Future design tweaks will include some of the more intricate artistic details, not yet pictured in renderings, that “will make the building sing,” Muñoz said.

Camille Garcia

Camille Garcia is a journalist born and raised in San Antonio. She formerly worked at the San Antonio Report as assistant editor and reporter. Her email is camillenicgarcia@gmail.com