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THE CENTRAL + WOLFE CAMPUS | Sunnyvale, California, USA | 2018

THE CENTRAL + WOLFE CAMPUS | Sunnyvale, California, USA | 2018

Architects: HOK
Associate Architects: Korth Sunseri Hagey Architects
Client: Jay Paul Company
Developer: Landbank
General Contractor: Level 10 Construction
Photographers: Tim Griffith Photography

Inspired by the dynamic relationship of converging biomes in California’s Santa Clara Valley, the 18-acre Central + Wolfe Campus was designed as a new kind of office park, which stands out from the typical, tilt-up “boxes” that long have characterized Silicon Valley.

This curvilinear, concrete-and-glass campus fits comfortably into its Northern California landscape. The complex has a sweeping facade with floor-to-ceiling glass that unites three office wings to form a single, clover-shaped facility.

Each of the three building “petals” has four floors of office space resting atop a floor that houses secure entry lobbies with cafés, coffee bars and other amenities, and a two-story, naturally ventilated parking podium. The office buildings appear to float above the third-floor entry bridge porte-cochères, which resemble giant porches and give passersby clear views into the heart of the campus. Furthermore, large, elliptical floor plates promote collaboration among occupants.

Sixty-foot-wide occupied spaces link the interior workspaces across three floors, essentially creating a single, contiguous workplace. These walkable floor plates help break down psychological barriers to interaction and encourage chance encounters to spur innovation. The building’s soaring, 13-and-a-half-foot ceilings are made possible by the post-tensioned, cast-in-place concrete structural system. Partitions are kept low and away from exterior walls, inviting daylight into the space.

The campus’ efficient design and construction process reduced core and shell construction costs compared to similar office buildings in Silicon Valley. Extensive parametric modeling studies enabled the team to design a glass curtain wall facade that appears to be curvilinear but is actually faceted, incorporating only a few different sizes of straight glass panels.

In place of a separate solar shading system, the design extends the concrete floor slabs as protruding fins that act as built-in sunshades protecting the glass walls from direct solar heat gain and glare. A multilayered light shelf was also applied to the facade to deliver natural light deep within the floorplate. Implementing a biophilic design approach, the campus encourages workers to connect to nature through the many outdoor terraces, courtyards and green spaces.

Occupants are never more than 40 feet from a large window through which they can soak up natural light and take in a variety of outdoor views of the native on-site landscaping, nearby trails or the Santa Cruz Mountains in the distance.  At the same time, parking is accommodated on two levels under the office buildings as well as in a stand-alone garage on the campus.

Though uncommon for the Valley, where most buildings are ringed by surface parking lots, this strategy preserves more than half the site as landscaped green spaces, open plazas, sport courts and trails. The campus was also designed with a full complement of amenities, creating an oasis of urbanity in the suburbs. Shaped like a quarter circle, the amenities building features sweeping, full-story glass walls and upper-level clerestory windows that create the sensation of being on an open porch.

A large, overhanging roof allows dining and gathering spaces to spill out onto an outdoor patio on the central quad. Through the seamless integration of aesthetics and sustainability, the campus has achieved LEED Platinum certification and the buildings themselves are designed to be net-zero energy ready. Overall, Central + Wolfe’s distinctive, highly sustainable design distinguishes the development in a crowded local office market, creating a lush, state-of-the-art office park in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The Central + Wolfe Campus
The Central + Wolf Campus
The Central + Wolf Campus

American Architecture
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