Kotzur, Jared (2022-04). Confluence: Reimagining the Institute of Texan Cultures. Master's Thesis.
My name is Jared Kotzur, and I am from Floresville, Texas, a small-town Southeast of San Antonio. My father's side of the family immigrated from Poland in the late 1800's and my mother's side immigrated from Ireland in the 1960's. Being from a family who called the San Antonio area their home after immigrating, created a unique appreciation for the many diverse cultures that make San Antonio the melting pot that is today. For my final study project, I decided to channel this appreciation into an architecture project that would give others a perspective into the history that makes San Antonio, and Texas as a whole, unique. A landmark within the city that is often overlooked is the University of Texas-San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures. This Smithsonian Affiliate Museum has told the story of Texan culture since it was acquired by UTSA after the 1968 World's Fair. The building itself was designed and built as the Texas Pavilion at 1968 World's Fair - otherwise known as HemisFair '68. The fair was one of the most influential events in San Antonio's history and the site stands as a living monument. For my final study project, I chose to design a state-of-the-art addition and full-scale renovation of the existing building. The HemisFair's theme was "Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas", celebrating the various ethnic groups which settled the western hemisphere. The word Confluence means "the act of or process of merging", as well as "the junction of two rivers". This idea was a major driving factor in the design of the addition and renovations, navigating the dialogue between old and new, as I aimed to preserve the identity and history of the building, while adapting the complex to meet the expectations and abilities of a contemporary San Antonio.