Located one mile south of Downtown San Jose, the Biblioteca Latinoamericana and Washington United Youth Center anchors a T-shaped site surrounded by commercial, educational and residential neighborhoods.
Responding to the urban context and residential neighborhoods, a shaded courtyard invites pedestrians through two different entrances via trellis pathways.
This outdoor plaza, complete with a stage, becomes a neighborhood focal gathering place for everyday casual use as well as special occasions and a cultural landmark for the community.
Organized around the courtyard, the two buildings share a relationship of similar materials and forms; tall masonry masses formed by concrete block and brick, linked together by a lower, metal and glass clad "glue-like" elements.
The Biblioteca is an important Spanish language resource in the region, housing special collections of both Spanish and English literature. The Youth Center provides a gymnasium, boxing, weightlifting, counseling services by Catholic Charities, and a program/community room where both Library and Youth Center group programs can be planned and community meetings occur.