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.
Biblioteca Latino Americana
San Jose, CA
Redevelopment Agency of San Jose
Garcia Teague Alvarado Construction
2002AIA|California Council Concrete Masonry Association of CA and NV, Merit Award