kengo kuma presents a “park living space” for the West Bank campus of San Jose

As part of the comprehensive campus transformation of San Jose in the West Bank, which was developed in collaboration with the municipality, Peterson and OPtrust, Kengo Kuma and Associates proposes its “Park Habitat” work area. The project tries to disguise the boundary between nature and office and give residents the opportunity to work in a park. The building is designed with a performative, “green lung”, expresses a wooden structure that is crowned by a roof park, and is wrapped in an appealing, vegetative skin. The West Bank and Kengo Kuma celebrate San Jose’s ecological heritage, which is characterized by a verdant landscape of orchards, meadows and wetlands. They are working closely together to bring a generous dose of nature back to Silicon Valley – while adding to the new community-centered West Bank campus so people can work, live and spend time.

Images courtesy of Kengo Kuma and staff

kengo kuma and Associates (KKAA) and West Bank will develop a “park living space” to combine the pastoral heritage of San Jose with the ambitious and forward-looking spirit of Silicon Valley. The designers at Park Habitat for the West Bank campus recognize the joy of spending time in nature while working in an air-conditioned office environment. West Bank founder Ian Gillespie comments, “I don’t want to work inside when I can work outside.” With that in mind, the project will maximize the time over the year that it can function without conditioned air while using vegetation to improve indoor air quality. In this way, the air quality is as close as possible to the fresh state that one would breathe outdoors.

kengo kuma presents a bucolic

Kengo Kuma’s “Park Habitat” breathes with an oversized vertical courtyard called the “green lung”. The performative and biophilic structure designed together with the CMG landscape architecture influences nature in a way that is beyond metaphor. The building relies on wind pressures along with functional facades, thermal mass and vegetation to let in air during the day and to flush air and heat at night. This systemic “green lung” thus imitates a constant architectural “inhalation and exhalation” that brings the light deeper into each floor and expresses itself as a picturesque and overgrown vertical garden.

kengo kuma presents a bucolic

Overall, the building envelope is finely tuned to lower the project’s energy requirements and create a joyful connection with the flora. The facade consists of extensive vertical vegetation and sun protection louvers. Plantings include overgrown walls mounted directly on the curtain wall, as well as window box-style planters with tendrils on vertical wire grids. The vegetation in these planters acts as sun protection for the glass behind and is visible to the residents of the building as a biophilic amenity for improved air quality inside the building. In the meantime, operable windows have often been integrated into the facade, which contribute to natural ventilation and night-time flushing of the temperature control for heat release and the general health of the office space.

kengo kuma presents a bucolic

One of the most important sustainability features of kengo kuma’s “park living space” is an all-electric building construction, which is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions considerably in the long term. The West Bank is aiming for a 100% reduction in operational carbon by operating exclusively electrically, integrating solar PVs on site and using waste heat from work areas for the residential components of the other buildings on campus. Reusing black water minimizes drinking water consumption – a major problem in drought-prone California.

kengo kuma presents a bucolic

Other sustainable features that define the overall concept of the park living space on the West Bank campus are passive conditioning and a biophilic facade. The high-performance building envelope designed by Kengo-Kuma improves access to useful daylight, reduces direct sunlight and extends the hours in which the view can be maintained without the use of internal blinds. While San Jose’s population is expected to grow 39% by 2035, the city will soon become an even more important hub in Silicon Valley and the larger bay.

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full article here

Project info:

Project title: Park habitat for West Bank campus

Location: San Jose, California

architecture: Kengo Kuma and coworkers (KKAA) with Adams Associates Architects

Developer: West Bank, Borough, Peterson and OPtrust

Landscape architecture: CMG landscape architecture

Sustainability and Energy: Atelier ten, reshaping strategies

Office programming: WRNS Studio

Visualizations: Courtesy of Kengo Kuma and staff

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