Engineering Biotechnology Building – Phase I & II
University of Texas at San Antonio

In designing this neurology research building which required secure facilities for laboratory research, Muñoz and Company drew inspiration from the University’s desire to reach out to the minority students of South Texas through new science degree programs.

The design metaphorically connects the rational and scientific research of treatments and medicines to the mythological folk healing practices of South Texas.  We created a public building connected to the lab wing, inspired by the image of a votive candle – a symbol of healing in the culture of the Texas/Mexico border.

The building is an interjection on the existing tan, concrete campus.  It appropriates regional influences such as color, folklore, symbology, Pre-Columbian and Chicano mythology and painting methods.  An internationally recognized Latina artist has adorned the public spaces with vibrant Pre-Columbian symbology of the Americas – honoring the Aztec and Mayan religion and culture of healing and enlightenment.

The secure block of research laboratories and faculty offices, faced with limestone in a subtle grid pattern, reflects the precision and rationality of modern research. The overall project represents an unusual collaboration of architects, artists and scientists to produce a unique strategy to inspire and recruit minority science majors.

Merit Award, San Antonio Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1998

Location:
San Antonio, Texas

Project Owner:
University of Texas at San Antonio

Construction Cost:
$9.8 Million

Size:
63,640 SF

Contract Delivery Method: 
Design/Bid/Build

Scope:
New Construction

Completion Date:
May 1996

Firm’s Responsibility:
Prime Professional

Services:
Full service architectural and interior design services.

Project Manager: 
William L. Mundy

Project Architect: 
Benito Polendo, AIA

Project Designer:
John H. Kell, FAIA.

Consultants:
MEP: HMG & Associates, Inc.
Structural: Danysh-Lundy & Associates, Inc.
Civil: Brown Engineering Co.
Landscape: Alexander Boedy Associates
Laboratory: Research Facilities Design

Contractor:
Bartlett Cocke, Inc.

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