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Potranco Library

San Antonio, TX


San Antonio Public Library


Marmon Mok Architecture


Kopplow Construction Company, Inc., Kencon Construction Ltd.

Additional Team Members

Facility Programming and Consulting, Alpha, Consulting Engineering, Inc., M&S Engineers, Arias Inc., Aquatic Design Group

Landscape Forms Elements

Parallel 42, Parc Center tables and chairs, Verona chairs (children's height), Power Pedestal (outdoor power)

The Potranco Family YMCA is now a broad-based community center that includes a City of San Antonio branch public library and outdoor playfields.

The design goal was to bring new life to a vacant commercial big-box supermarket from the late 1990s and expand the YMCA’s outreach in high-growth Northwest San Antonio. An outdoor community gathering space encourages year-round use by library and YMCA patrons and accommodates the multiple activities occurring in public spaces.

Part of the library’s mission is to extend its reach beyond its building and staffed hours. By incorporating Wifi and plug-in access points, the outdoor space offers the e-resources of the library beyond its open hours, supporting community members and YMCA users with both an e-library and a pleasant place to enjoy a snack while reading, play with children, or work and read using mobile devices.

The chairs, tables, and benches are scaled to accommodate both children and adults. Pops of color in the furniture complements the architecture and adds a cheerful aesthetic. Wood benches introduce an element of nature and a contrast to the patio’s metal elements. The backless benches with center arms open the space visually while discouraging sleeping or skateboarding. The blend of neutral and accent tones achieves the balance the designers sought: the patio doesn’t overwhelm the multipurpose building but instead becomes a welcoming focal point for passersby.