Vancouver Architect Bing Thom designed this collection of buildings to the east and northeast of the Tarrant County Courthouse. The campus sits on the bluff of the Trinity River. The original design was for the campus to be on both sides of the river with a bridge spanning across. However, problem with constructing within the flood plan created the abandonment of the portions across the river. Instead, the Tarrant County College purchased the RadioShack Riverfront Campus a few blocks to the west and converted those buildings into educational spaces.
Visitors to the campus are greeted by a sunken plaza fronting on Weatherford Street. To enter this plaza, a visitor walks down a set of steps in the center of the block. On the west side are accessible ramps and on the east side is a waterfall that flows down the steps. Two buildings face this plaza and they are the Welcome Center and the Learning Center. The plaza narrows under Belknap Street, and continues to slope down toward the Trinity River. When the plaza flattens, the water feature flattens, but also continues to run toward the river. The Nursing and Allied Health Buildings face the lower portion of the plaza. At the far north end of the plaza, a set of steps lead to a lower plaza, just above the river. The flowing water then drops one floor level in a waterfall and a small pool at the bottom.
The design of the building features gray concrete panels, exposed concrete columns, and glass with sunscreens. Most of the buildings contain full length exterior walkways with glass guardrails. Many of the walls of the buildings are sloped. This example of Modern Architecture offers an excellent contrast to the 1895 Tarrant County Courthouse, just one block to the west.
Bing Thom Associates, Vancouver
Bennett Benner Partners, Fort Worth