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Government Canyon project

Government Canyon State Natural Area Visitor Center,

San Antonio client

Texas Parks and Wildlife


Lake/Flato Architects Ted Flato, FAIA; Bob Harris, AIA; Roy Schweers;

design team

Dale Riser contractor

Tom Page and Company


Pape-Dawson Engineers (civil); Architectural Engi-

neers Collaborative (structural); Encotech Engineering Consultants (MEP); TPWD (landscape); Archillume Lighting Design (lighting); Craig Haney (specifications) photographer

resources stone :

Chris Cooper

THE Visitor Center floats in a field of native grasses and restored oaks at the mouth of the canyon, forming a gateway to the 8,600-acre Government Canyon State Natural Area. The canyon’s rich ranching history is expressed in the exposed pipe structure. The building respects the fragile ecosystem of the site, which lies in the recharge area for San Antonio’s main water source—the Edwards Aquifer. It was designed for water conservation, collecting rainwater, minimizing runoff and contaminants, and reducing the use of ground water. In this way, the building becomes its own educational exhibit that demonstrates sustainable water use practices to visitors. The program for the headquarters included an exhibit hall, a Texas State Park store, classrooms, offices, an outdoor exhibit pavilion, an amphitheatre, interpretive trails, and two ranger residences.

r a in water collection tanks : American Tank Co.; lime-

Texas Sisterdale Limestone; wood treatments : Texas Aromatic

Cedar Siding; sprayed insulation : Icynene; specialty doors : Hufcor; wood windows :


t e x a s

a r c h i t e c t

Pella; lighting control : Lutron Grafik Eye Lighting System

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Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2006: Design Awards  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...

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