Windhaven Park, which is surrounded by three schools, is a challenging site on which to build because of the vegetated wetland creek that diagonally bisects the site. Ultimately, however, the characteristics of the creek served as the force behind the entire programming and design of the Tom Muehlenbeck Center.
With the sustainable notion of preserving the creek and building on the “creek-side curve,” every patron experiences the park site upon arrival, parking on one side of the creek and crossing over a series of bridges strategically placed to direct people to the various building entries.
The form of the building, with its cast stone base, smooth slat-like horizontal stone elements and silver metal finished roofline, emphasize the flowing nature of the site and further root the design in the local Texas vernacular. Large windows provide various program spaces with expansive and flowing views to the creek and other outdoor recreation elements, again forging a strong relationship to its surroundings.
The program of various recreation spaces, social lounges serving all ages, arts-and-crafts facilities, a preschool area and game rooms were the result of community and local school input. All of these spaces are centered around the main lobby and control desk.