as part of westbank’s sweeping campus transformation of san jose, developed in partnership with urban community, peterson and OPtrust, kengo kuma and associates proposes its ‘park habitat’ workspace. the project seeks to obscure the boundary between nature and the office, introducing to its occupants the ability to work within a park. the building is designed with a performative, ‘green lung,’ expresses an arboreal character topped by a rooftop park, and is wrapped in a responsive, vegetative skin. celebrating san jose’s ecological heritage defined by a verdant landscape of orchards, meadows and wetlands, westbank and kengo kuma work closely to return a generous dose of nature back into silicon valley — while at the same time adding to the new community-centered westbank campus designed for people to work, live, and spend time.

kengo kuma presents a bucolic 'park habitat' for san jose's westbank campus
images courtesy of  kengo kuma and associates

 

 

kengo kuma and associates (KKAA) and westbank will develop ‘park habitat’ to hybridize the pastoral heritage of san jose with the ambitious and forward-thinking spirit of silicon valley. the designers of ‘park habitat’ for the westbank campus recognize the joy of spending time in nature over time spent working in a conditioned office environment. westbank founder ian gillespie comments: ‘I do not want to work inside when I can work outside.’ with this spirit, the project will maximize the amount of time across the year that it can function without conditioned air while making use of vegetation to improve the indoor air quality. this way the quality of air is as close as possible to the same fresh condition as one would breathe outdoors. 

kengo kuma presents a bucolic 'park habitat' for san jose's westbank campus

 

 

kengo kuma’s ‘park habitat’  breathes with an outsized vertical courtyard called the ‘green lung.’ the performative and biophilic structure, designed together with CMG landscape architecture, takes influence from nature in a way that is beyond metaphorical. the building relies on wind pressures together with operable facades, thermal mass, and vegetation to bring air in by day and flush air and heat by night. this systemic ‘green lung’ thus mimics a constant architectural ‘inhalation and exhalation’ which further brings light deep into each floor and is expressed as a picturesque and overgrown vertical garden. 

kengo kuma presents a bucolic 'park habitat' for san jose's westbank campus

 

 

as a whole, the building skin is finely-tuned to reduce the energy needs of the project and to bring a joyful connection with plantlife. the facade comprises extensive vertical vegetation as well as sun-shading louvers. the plantings include vegetated walls mounted directly to the curtain wall as well as window box-style planters with vines on vertical wire trellises. the vegetation in these planters acts as sun shading for the glass behind and is visible to the building occupants as a biophilic amenity for enhanced air quality inside the building. meanwhile, the facade integrates frequent operable windows which contribute to the natural ventilation and ‘night flush’ heat-release temperature control strategies and the overall health of the office space.

kengo kuma presents a bucolic 'park habitat' for san jose's westbank campus

 

 

key sustainability features of kengo kuma’s ‘park habitat’ include an all-electric building design projected to achieve significant long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. westbank will target 100% reduction of operational carbon by going all electric, integrating on-site solar PVs and harnessing waste heat from workspaces for use within the residential components of the the other buildings on the campus. blackwater reuse will minimize the consumption of potable water — a significant concern in drought-prone california. 

kengo kuma presents a bucolic 'park habitat' for san jose's westbank campus

 

 

additional sustainable features which define the overall concept of the westbank campus’ ‘park habitat’ include passive conditioning and a biophilic facade. the kengo-kuma designed high performance building envelope will increase access to useful daylight, reduce direct solar exposure and extend hours when views can be maintained without interior blind deployment. while the population of san jose is estimated to grow by 39% by 2035, the city will soon become an even more important hub within silicon valley and the larger bay area. 

kengo kuma presents a bucolic 'park habitat' for san jose's westbank campus kengo kuma presents a bucolic 'park habitat' for san jose's westbank campus kengo kuma presents a bucolic 'park habitat' for san jose's westbank campus kengo kuma presents a bucolic 'park habitat' for san jose's westbank campus

 

 

project info:

 

project title: park habitat for westbank campus

location: san jose, california

architecture: kengo kuma and associates (KKAA) with adamson associates architects

developer: westbank, urban community, peterson and OPtrust

landscape architecture: CMG landscape architecture

sustainability and energy: atelier ten, reshape strategies

office programming: WRNS studio

visualizations: courtesy of kengo kuma and associates