Hemisfair / Yanaguana Garden

San Antonio, TX

Hemisfair / Yanaguana Garden

Client: Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC)
Location: San Antonio, TX
Year: 2011-present
Lead firm: Project for Public Spaces and MIG
Designers, collaborators: MIG, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN)
Awards: Landscape Performance Series, 2020; Lyftie Award, 2018.
Yanaguana_Hemisfair_copyr Phil Myrick (22)

Phil has been advising the redevelopment of Hemisfair – a major urban park in downtown San Antonio – since planning and design kicked off in 2011. Starting with Yanaguana Garden, and followed by Civic Park and Tower Park, these three projects make up the 50 acres of public realm that will transform this former World’s Fair site, which is being developed as a P3, public private partnership. Mixed-use development components will include hotel, retail and restaurants, office, and residential – all designed in ways to activate the parks and also help Hemisfair achieve its goal of becoming financially self-sustaining.

Phil’s role has been to facilitate stakeholders, the public, and the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation (HPARC) to develop a guiding vision and space program that provided a design brief for subsequent designers.

Each park within Hemisfair has a unique niche character:

Opened to the public in 2015, Yanaguana Garden is a beautifully landscaped outdoor nature playscape combined with amenities for adults such as ping pong, cornhole, and outdoor eateries. Its success as a destination (it is the second most frequented park per acre in Texas) proves the point that kids’ environments have to be programmed with adults in mind as well, and doing so creates a rich community destination loved by all ages.

The Civic Park, which opened in 2023, is the setting for festivals, concerts, and community celebrations, as well as water features and plazas activated by restaurants, retail and the Convention Center. This public-private project will also include a hotel and apartment building. It has been called “perhaps the most ambitious development in San Antonio’s history when you consider the cost, scale and location.”

Tower Park, which includes the 750-foot tall Tower of the Americas, will be a community oasis dedicated to locals and reinforcing a unique sense of place by focusing on local arts and culture, health and wellness, and the importance of Hemisfair’s history.

“Phil helped us develop vision and use plans for the three Hemisfair parks, based on placemaking strategies. Through that effort we defined our park DNA, the ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that makes public spaces beloved by the community for generations.” Fact: Only five years old, Yanaguana is already the second most visited park per acre in Texas. More than 80% of visitors are locals.
-- Andres Andujar, Hemisfair CEO

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