NVIDIA’s cavernous, Gensler-designed 500,000-square-foot headquarters opened for business late 2017, capping off a seven-year effort to create a new state-of-the-art office complex for the technology company. Located in Santa Clara, California, the triangular complex takes a decidedly inward approach to the open, creative office type. Unlike Facebook’s park-topped headquarters or Apple’s ring-in-the-forest complex, which feature expansive connections to the outdoors and commingle quasi-public access with offices, NVIDIA’s new home base is self-contained and mono-functional, more high-tech tent than big-nature oasis. Instead of bringing the outside in, Gensler’s designs utilize a soaring internal volume and 245 perfectly calibrated triangular skylights set into a modular, undulating roof that turns the inside out. Workers are expected to arrive by car, entering the building’s underbelly via two basement parking levels containing 1,500 stalls. A glass-enclosed elevator core welcomes arrivals before whisking them to the cavernous offices above, where they are greeted by a faceted, black metal panel cocoon wrapping the all-white elevator core. This angular, two-story volume creates a sheltered area at the heart of the building underneath an orderly grid of skylights that was laid out using virtual reality software to determine each skylight’s final placement. Hao Ko, principal and managing director at Gensler, said, “We worked hard to get the right specifications of glass makeup to allow us the right quality of diffused and soft sunlight in the space. The final result—where the daylighting is evenly dispersed throughout and evenly experienced by everyone—is a testament to the upfront work we did in design.” Because of Santa Clara’s zoning laws, the structure could only rise two stories and ultimately topped out at 50 feet tall. In response, Ko’s team created two soaring levels within the arched envelope of the building, taking the opportunity to transform the office’s many staircases into broad, socially vibrant areas while also creating an upper level that functions more like a mezzanine than a fully-enclosed floor. Along the ground, squat cubicles, an institutional-seeming dining hall, and multifunctional lab spaces orbit the opaque core, which itself contains lounges, meeting rooms, coding nooks, and research areas. The level above, meanwhile, is populated by parallel rows of cubicles interrupted by acoustically-sealed meeting pods that extend every which way. The end result is a workplace envisioned and constructed to look good—and work well—in any light.
Posts tagged with "Santa Clara":
A judge has ruled that CityPlace, a long-stalled mixed-use development slated for a former municipal landfill site adjacent to the new Levi’s football stadium in Santa Clara, California, can finally head toward construction, despite vocal opposition from the neighboring city of San Jose. The $5.6-billion project is being developed by Related Companies and is designed by RTKL and Elkus Manfredi Architects as a mixed-use transit-oriented development populated with offices, storefronts, housing, and green spaces. However, the project has been caught up in a lawsuit for months over objections from San Jose officials regarding the relatively small amount of housing available in the plans for the development, Mercury News reports. The 240-acre complex is expected to bring 5.4 million square feet of offices, 1.1 million square feet of retail, a 700-key hotel, 250,000 square feet of “food and beverage,” and 190,000 square feet of entertainment uses to the area. The project is also estimated to generate over 25,000 jobs, but will only provide 1,680 residential units to house those potential workers, and the arrangement has San Jose officials worried that their housing-strapped city will be left housing the remaining workforce. As is consistently the case in California due to Proposition 13—a 1970s-era initiative that caps property taxes on homes—smaller municipalities like Santa Clara are disincentivized from producing and approving housing-heavy developments in lieu of more lucrative commercial and office projects. The end result—as is evident across Silicon Valley—is that many projects are designed with little to no housing, an arrangement that, aside from limiting more environmentally-benign mixed-use development, has fueled the state’s ongoing housing crisis. With CityPlace, San Jose city officials are worried the new jobs-heavy development will tax existing schools, streets, and other public infrastructure with new residents, while simultaneously adding to the pool of people who work in the area but cannot find a place live nearby. The Environmental Impact Report for the 9.2 million-square-foot project, however, looked into these concerns and was approved by the Santa Clara City Council in 2016 nonetheless, after completion of a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review by state regulators. The judge’s ruling cited these approvals as reason for the project to continue to move forward. The project is among the largest new developments on the west coast and is among several densification projects slated for the region surrounding San Francisco. If built according to the current timeline, the first phase of the project will begin construction in 2019 and finish around 2022. Later phases would be built over the following five- to 10-years, depending on market conditions.
Silicon Valley definitely has the architecture bug. We've recently seen remarkable new designs put forth by Foster + Partners for Apple and NBBJ for Samsung. Now Gensler has released ambitious new designs for tech company Nvidia, located in Santa Clara. The 24-acre complex's two 500,000-square-foot buildings are each shaped like triangles, a configuration that Gensler principal Hao Ko explains facilitates collaboration by allowing connections to each side of the building to be the shortest. (The triangle, he adds, is also "the fundamental primitive that defines all shapes in the digital realm.") Undulating roofs will be made up of smaller triangle pieces, breaking down the overall mass and allowing for ample skylighting, in the in-between spaces. Construction is set to begin this summer, with completion in 2015. Apple's circle now has geometric competition. Who's next?
After being on hold since its approval in June 2010 it looks like the San Francisco 49ers new stadium is finally moving forward. On Friday the team announced it had secured financing for the $1 billion project, located next to Great America theme park in downtown Santa Clara. According to the San Jose Mercury News the money is coming from Goldman Sachs, U.S. Bank, and Bank of America. The 68,500-seat stadium, designed by HNTB, will get fans closer to the field by replacing the traditional tiered bowl with a tower of suites and club spaces on its west side. Openings in the stadium will allow for exposed pedestrian plazas as well as views into and out of the building. It is one of several now being proposed for the state, as we reported a few months ago. But it's the first to actually move ahead. With design already drawn up construction could start as soon as the middle of next year.