passion flower
  • story
  • approach
  • place
  • team
  • people

Firm History

Founded in 1989 by Beth Bender Wells and Larry Clark, Bender Wells Clark Design grew from a division of a large architectural practice into a small independent firm providing planning, landscape architecture, and urban design services. BWCD has collaborated with most of the large architectural and civil engineering practices in the region on many of the area’s most prestigious projects. We have developed the reputation of being a professional firm dedicated to providing quality services on a wide variety of project types.

Bender Wells Clark Design has won numerous awards in the areas of landscape architecture, planning, and environmental graphic design.

BWCD is certified as a DBE/WBE/SBE with the South Central Texas Certifying Agency and an HUB with the State of Texas.



Design Philosophy & Methods

Each design or planning project is unique. Some are simple, others are quite complex. Mostly, the design process is open-ended. It must be adaptable to change and allow for future changes or revisions.

The choice of design method is important to the outcome of the project design. Design is not a mystery, and great solutions do not come in a 'lightning flash'. Design is not restricted to genius. Design is a process where many different methods must be considered and employed. In our area of expertise, it is also critical that we collaborate with many others throughout the design process.

We have an expert understanding of design and construction processes, and we have demonstrated our creative problem-solving approaches to complex problems. Creative solutions that exceed our clients' expectations and meet the demands of reveiw agencies, other consultants, contractors, budgets, and project schedules are not developed without a solid understanding of the problem. We work hard to observe, research, and understand the nature of each site or project context and to understand the desire of our clients.

Our solutions are based on an approach that strives to connect the design to the surrounding area, the infrastructure, and the community. Our solutions also must be internally connected, sustainable, harmonious, composed, and artistic.

We are motivated by the challenge of transforming sites into areas that people can enjoy. If the site calls for it, we are not timid about big changes, but we are also confident enough to know when to leave it alone. Our process includes constant thought about the environment, sustainability, construction, and maintenance. We specialize in environmental sensitivity in planning and design with extensive experience in the inclusion of Best Management Practices.

DESIGN WITH NATURE...



The Studio

In 2003, we decided to relocate to downtown San Antonio to better serve our urban projects and clients. We bought an old upholstery shop at the corner of 9th & Alamo St. and renovated it to accomodate our studio space and offices.

This complex of buildings on the northern edge of downtown is centered on a limestone structure in “Irish Flats.” We believe the oldest portion of our office was built around 1890. It rests roughly 400 yards from the San Antonio River and is surrounded by many reminders of the history of central San Antonio's progression and cultivation. The Alamo itself is just a ten-minute walk away. Just behind our courtyard, the Alamo 'Acequia Madre' once flowed, providing drinking water and agricultural irrigation to the Mission San Antonio de Valero (a.k.a. The Alamo) and the surrounding agricultural fields. This 3.5 mile sinuous ditch, originating from the spring-fed headwaters of the San Antonio River near the present-day Witte Museum in Brackenridge Park, was dug by hand in the 1720’s by missionaries and Native Americans. As the settlement grew, additions and branches to the acequia extended its total length to more than 10 miles, and several separate acequias were constructed as well. Despite the introduction of wells and other means of acquiring water, the 'Acequia Madre' remained in use until 1912. San Antonio's is the most extensive known network of acequias in North America. Though only small sections of it actually remain visible today, the layout of these irrigation ditches inadvertently shaped much of central San Antonio's existing urban fabric.

Our office site also provides an opportunity to demonstrate some of the landscape principles we employ in our designs, such as the office rain garden and courtyard with native plantings throughout. We have secured a certain presence on North Alamo Street – with the bold colors of the office exterior and the extraordinary planting throughout the site, you can’t miss us!

The Rain Garden

Our approach to managing stormwater runoff at our studio is based on the premise that stormwater management is very different from stormwater disposal. Disposing of stormwater runoff by directing it into storm sewers contributes to the pollutant load and flooding of San Antonio’s streams and creeks during a rain event. As an alternative, we constructed a self-contained rain garden in the courtyard to slow runoff directed from the roof and to allow it to slowly percolate into the deep soil below. This process irrigates the surrounding native plants, but most importantly, it significantly reduces the excess water entering the city’s piped stormwater system from our property. Native xeric and riparian plant species were chosen, particularly those plants with deep root systems, to help filter and remove pollutants from the collected stormwater as it drains through the soil and recharges groundwater.



BETH BENDER WELLS, PRESIDENT

Beth Wells, President

A San Antonio native, Beth earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Trinity University and a Master of Science in Urban Studies from the University of Texas in San Antonio. Beth has over 30 years professional experience in environmental graphic design, planning, and urban design. While she is the primary project manager of planning and environmental graphic design projects, she is also involved in the design, scheduling, specification preparation, and management of landscape architecture projects. Her background includes experience in site-specific design, feasibility studies, large-scale master plans, corporate branding, and high-profile pedestrian wayfinding systems. Beth has also served the Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas on the Board of Directors in a variety of positions including President, Vice President, and Secretary among others, and is a member of the Community Gardens Committee.

LAWRENCE C. CLARK, ASLA, VICE PRESIDENT

Larry Clark, Vice President

Larry earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington and has nearly 30 years professional experience as a registered landscape architect. He is the primary project manager for landscape architectural projects and provides comprehensive planning from project inception through construction completion. Larry has a history of responding quickly to the demands of large-scale projects. His expertise includes park development, hike & bike trails, streetscape improvements, LID’s, drainage facilities, urban parks, and wayfinding systems. He has worked with cities, agencies, universities, corporate campus managers, and others to employ sustainable designs stressing the use of local materials. Larry is actively involved in the community. Besides his involvement in his own neighborhood association and his professional membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects, he is also past-President and an active Board Member of the Mission Trail Rotary Club, is a Former Chair of the City of San Antonio Open Space Advisory Board, and served on the Executive Committee of the San Antonio Mobility Coalition from its founding in 2001 until 2008.

IRIS PUH, ASLA

Iris Puh

Iris earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Texas A&M University and a Master of Environmental Planning degree from Arizona State University. She has worked on a diverse range of projects including office, retail, planned communities, university campuses, institutional facilities, streetscapes, and city parks. Iris is both a licensed irrigator and a registered landscape architect with the State of Texas and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

BENJAMIN VIERVILLE

Ben Vierville

A San Antonio native, Ben earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Texas Tech University and has been a part of the BWCD team since 2006. He has served 3 years on the City of San Antonio Fort Sam Houston Community Advisory Board, and has worked on a wide variety of project types in his years with BWCD.

CHEN SCHNEIDER

Chen Schneider

Chen has been with BWCD since its founding. With a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Tamkang and 39 years of professional experience as an accountant/controller, she is an essential component of the firm. Her responsibilities include complete financial statements, corporate tax returns, accounts payable and receivable. She is a member of the National Society of Accountants as well as the Texas Association of Financial & Tax Specialists.

TIFFANY PRICE

Tiffany Price

Tiffany earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Texas. Bringing marketing, purchasing, and project management experience, Tiffany joined Bender Wells Clark Design in 2006 before pursuing her MLA degree in Austin. Having completed this degree, she has reunited with the BWCD team as she works toward professional registration with the State of Texas.

LINDA DELGADO

Linda Delgado

Linda has been with BWCD since 2011. With 10 years of clerical experience, she brings a friendly and willing attitude to our front desk.


TUCKER

Tucker

Tucker guards the candy bowl. His expertise includes guest arrival notification, snack negotiation, scampering, and tracking solar position via regular verification of the office's shifting basking spots.




Collaborators

Over the years, we have had the pleasure of working with many talented professionals. These partnerships have resulted in successful and meaningful projects throughout San Antonio and Central Texas.

CLIENTS

Citicorp
Frost Bank
Alamo Colleges
Baptist Health System
Methodist Hospital
City of San Antonio
City of Helotes
City of Big Spring, Texas
City of Idaho Falls
City of Alamo Heights
The Dominion
Port of San Antonio
Edwards Aquifer Authority
Gunn Sports Park
Haven For Hope
Keystone School
National Trust for Historic Preservation
SeaWorld
Fiesta Texas
Six Flags
USAA Federal Credit Union
USAA Real Estate
University of Texas Health Science Center
University of Texas at San Antonio
Texas A&M University - San Antonio
Texas Research Park
VIA Metro Transit
Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital
Witte Museum

architects

Alamo Architects
RTKL
Overland Partners
HKS, Inc.
HKS Sports
3DI
Jackson & Ryan Architects
Earl Swenson Architecture
Marmon-Mok Architecture
OCO Architects
Bender Associates
Kell-Munoz Architects
Chesney Morales & Associates
DHR Architects
Garza-Bomberger & Associates
RVK Architects
Lake-Flato Architects
Lane & Smart Architects
Slay Architecture
O’Connell Robertson
Page-Southerland-Page
PGAV Destinations
Sprinkle Robey Architects
Sprinkle & Co. Architects

landscape architects & planners

MIG
The Olin Partnership
Walter Hood
Gateway Planning Group
SWA Group
Project for Public Spaces
Urban Development Services
Winter & Company, Noré Winter

engineers

AECOM
Pape-Dawson Engineers
Cleary-Zimmerman
Vickrey & Associates
CNG Engineering
Jaster-Quintanilla
CDS Muery Services
Briones Engineering
Bain Medina Bain, Inc.
Sparks Engineering
Coyle Engineering
Civil Engineering Consultants, CEC
Jacobs Engineering
Carter Burgess
HDR, Inc.
Datum Engineers
PBS & J
S&B Infrastructure
URS Corporation
Wilbur Smith Associates
Hartnett Engineered Solutions



ph:210.692.9221 fax:210.223.8582