Perkins Eastman and Ford, Powell & Carson Celebrate Dedication Event of Centro Plaza at VIA Villa

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New Town Square in Downtown San Antonio Provides Sustainable Public Asset and Access to Full Range of Transit Services

As San Antonio continues to grow, the demand for mobility and sustainable mixed-use development will grow along with it. Centro Plaza supports VIA’s response to that challenge in grand fashion. - Jonathan Cohn AIA, LEED AP

Perkins Eastman and San Antonio-based Ford, Powell & Carson are proud to help announce the dedication of VIA Metropolitan Transit’s Centro Plaza at VIA Villa, downtown San Antonio’s newest public plaza and multimodal transit center. The dedication ceremony inaugurates a grand town square in one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., offering residents a major access point for public transportation and an iconic community space all in one. The dedication took place at 123 N. Medina Street, in front of the historic and newly renovated I&GN Station, which now serves as VIA’s executive offices and was a major inspiration for Perkins Eastman’s design of Centro Plaza.

Centro Plaza is envisioned as more than just a transit stop. Programmable lighting throughout the Plaza, custom art and cultural amenities, and 58 newly planted local cedar elms transform Centro Plaza into a community space intended to become fully integrated into the city’s DNA. The 2+ acre site also features a system for capturing all storm water runoff in 20,000-gallon cisterns to be used for irrigating the trees, and a large photovoltaic panel array of 272 modules, situated atop the Plaza’s curved canopy to deliver 68kW of continuous energy to the property. The Plaza is a sustainable public asset that will encourage future private development in the surrounding district.

“Many of the world’s truly great plazas seamlessly integrate transit, art, and public space into the urban fabric,” says Jonathan Cohn AIA, LEED AP, Principal with Perkins Eastman and the Plaza’s design lead. “That foundation, combined with a recognition of the surrounding historic buildings and the city’s unique cultural context, is what inspired our designs for Centro Plaza. As San Antonio continues to grow, the demand for mobility and sustainable mixed-use development will grow along with it. Centro Plaza supports VIA’s response to that challenge in grand fashion.”

According to Michael Guarino, Senior Associate at Ford, Powell & Carson, “Centro Plaza has already sparked redevelopment projects in the buildings of the Cattleman’s Square Historic District, including the historic Washington Hotel that is part of this project. The Plaza brings together better transit options, a direct link between both UTSA campuses, and a stunning new home for community celebrations.”

Perkins Eastman partnered with Ford, Powell & Carson to preserve historic structures in the area, restore the historic street grid, improve overall pedestrian access, and ultimately, create an iconic public square for San Antonio residents to enjoy open green space and access to the city’s growing network of transit services.

A signature light tower, designed by acclaimed artist Bill FitzGibbons, will mark the Plaza from miles around, and it will be honored with its own dedication ceremony in early 2016.

About Ford, Powell & Carson
Ford, Powell & Carson offers comprehensive design services in architecture, urban design, interior design, and planning, and has been an integral part of the San Antonio design community since 1939. The firm’s multidisciplinary expertise provides clients with integrated design solutions from master planning and building design through construction and the selection of furnishings. The firm has provided design services to repeat client such as the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The firm has won more than 150 local, state and national design awards in architecture, interior design and landscape architecture, and in 1999 the Texas Society of Architects recognized Ford, Powell & Carson with the Architecture Firm of the Year Award. For more info visit

About Perkins Eastman
Perkins Eastman is among the top design and architecture firms in the world. With almost 950 employees in 14 locations around the globe, Perkins Eastman practices at every scale of the built environment. From niche buildings to complex projects that enrich whole communities, the firm’s portfolio reflects a dedication to progressive and inventive design that enhances the quality of the human experience. With work in 46 states and more than 40 countries, the firm’s portfolio includes transportation and public infrastructure, high-end residential, commercial, hotels, retail, office buildings, corporate interiors, schools, hospitals, museums, senior living, and public sector facilities. Perkins Eastman provides award-winning design through its offices in North America (New York, NY; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; San Francisco, CA; Stamford, CT; Toronto, Canada; and Washington, DC); South America (Guayaquil, Ecuador); North Africa and Middle East (Dubai, UAE); and Asia (Mumbai, India, and Shanghai, China).

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