Silicon Valley has been at the epicenter of activity for tech giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook, which have been competing for space to build their ambitious new campuses in the area. Samsung has also joined the race and commissioned architecture firm NBBJ to design its North American headquarters in San Jose, and building has recently been completed, featuring open gardens, a flexible floor plan and a host of eco-friendly features.
The new 1.1 million square foot complex, organized around an interior courtyard and floating, open-air gardens, comprises two 10-story towers connected with an outer skin and a series of bridges. Its exterior is a mix of white metal, glass and terracotta, and creates a strong impact meant to convey Samsung’s brand. The architects approached the project with a generative design strategy in order to maximize communication between employees. Flexible floor plans and floor-to-ceiling windows facilitate visual connections among the workers and provide views of the complex. A “three-dimensional Main Street” dominates the central part of the complex and includes an atrium space. “Sky pocket parks” were inserted on every third floor in order to provide immediate access to nature.
By including a number of informal meeting spaces, kitchenettes, fitness facilities and green areas, the architects aimed to create an enjoyable work environment that is also appealing to the surrounding community. The first floor features a public courtyard, public cafe and retail spaces, functioning as an urban space integrated into the neighborhood.
Thanks to several sustainable features, including optimal daylighting, natural ventilation, use of recycled water, low-flow water fixtures and LED lighting technology, the project is currently tracking LEED Gold.