bjarke ingels group will restore bank of italy with garden workspaces for westbank campus

bjarke ingels group will restore bank of italy with garden workspaces for westbank campus

westbank continues its long-time partnership with bjarke ingels group in the transformation of san jose’s historic bank of italy, developed in partnership with urban community, peterson and OPtrust as part of the larger westbank campus. built in 1926, the bank of italy marked california‘s tallest tower between san francisco and los angeles until the 1970s. with the rapid growth of silicon valley, the team seeks to preserve the layered history of the urban fabric which defines the character of the city. with this in mind, the project will introduce an inspiring workspace intervention that is at once sensitive and bold. dubbed ‘giannini’s vertical garden,’ named for the bank’s founder, the intervention is part stairway, part workspace, and part garden — both a preservation and an evolution.

bjarke ingels group will restore bank of italy with garden workspaces for westbank campus
images courtesy of bjarke ingels group / BIG

 

 

westbank and bjarke ingels group / BIG design the bank of italy intervention for the westbank campus with respect for both the historical context and the environment. while the team seeks to preserve the structure for its iconic architecture, the decision to repurpose rather than tear town and rebuild comes with many energy-saving opportunities and will promise a much smaller carbon footprint. the heritage building will be extremely high performing, and will contribute to the establishment of san jose’s redevelopment as a pioneer of sustainable urbanism. the bank of italy renovation and intervention will be one of two bjarke ingels group-designed projects for westbank camps, together with the undulating ‘energy hub’ — look for designboom’s upcoming feature soon.

bjarke ingels group will restore bank of italy with garden workspaces for westbank campus

 

 

bjarke ingels group’s bank of italy intervention will be defined by a stack of cantilevered garden balconies which peel away from the historic building. these rounded, horizontal bands, marking ‘giannini’s vertical garden,’ will host a set of double-height outdoor rooms along with a spiraling stair. the design will extend the workspace environment into nature, overgrown with vines, and will express a new urban garden climbing upward alongside the original facade.

bjarke ingels group will restore bank of italy with garden workspaces for westbank campus

 

 

in restoring the westbank campus bank of italy, the team at bjarke ingels group investigates the history of the structure, and its many transformations. over time, the bank’s ornate storefronts and entrances have been replaced with a much more ordinary condition. the proposed street level will restore a sense of grandeur with the main entrance serving as a focal point, set between two retail entrances that are at once subtle and elegant. meanwhile, a new ‘fountain alley podium’ will serve multiple functions — a restaurant, auditorium/school, terrace, and public space combine to create a cultural identity for the building and surrounding area. 

bjarke ingels bank italy

 

 

the exterior stair and vertical garden at the bank of italy building is inspired by founder giannini’s legacy as an innovator and community-builder. the verdant garden will host a series of communal gathering places and an amenity space connecting all those who visit or work within the building to the outdoors. it will maximize interior space while minimizing the footprint of the stair tower with its ‘peeling away’ gesture. furthermore, the vertical garden will maximize functional space and extend workspaces outdoors into a paradisaical environment. the new stair tower will be prefabricated with steel and finished in terracotta, and will provide structural upgrades to the building.

bjarke ingels group will restore bank of italy with garden workspaces for westbank campus

 

 

the interiors of the bank of italy are designed to restore its original grandeur while allowing it to evolve to meet the needs of a modern creative economy context. to achieve this, the team will use only materials they believe are original and will reinterpret their applications to create moments of inspiration throughout. the workspace concept will see an anchoring of service spaces as close to the existing stair and elevators as possible within a beautiful brass box. this allows the rest of the workspace to be exposed to maximum daylight and views.

 bjarke ingels group will restore bank of italy with garden workspaces for westbank campus

westbank-campus-bjarke-ingels-group-BIG-bank-of-italy-san-jose-designboom-017

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy

ARCHITECTURE IN CALIFORNIA (179)

ARCHITECTURE IN THE US (1145)

BJARKE INGELS GROUP / BIG (262)

DBINSTAGRAM (1418)

RENOVATION ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (156)

WESTBANK CAMPUS (8)

WHERE PEOPLE WORK (597)

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5