Brooklyn-based design firm Efficiency Lab for Architecture has recently transformed an existing, three-story commercial office building into the Community Information Center, a marketing center for Avenues: The World School’s new campus in San Jose, California. Located in a former office park, the Community Information Center redefines the nondescript environment with a fresh building entrance framed by redwood trees and a series of artsy concrete portals that the architects say “free people’s minds from the stressful reality of California’s driving culture before entering the facility.”

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white rectangular archways over a path

Completed in June 2020, the Community Information Center is part of the first phase in the new San Jose campus for Avenues: The World School, a famous system of for-profit private schools for pre-K to 12th grades with international locations including New York City, São Paulo and Shenzhen. The new modern campus is located on a small existing office park. Two existing buildings and a parking garage will be repurposed for campus use, and four new buildings will be constructed. 

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white rectangular archways leading to a building
orange and gray furniture inside white and wood room

As the marketing hub for the campus, the 10,000-square-foot Community Information Center features a reception and lounge space; an 80-person presentation room; meeting rooms; interview rooms; and staff offices arranged in an open-plan layout. In addition to the concrete portals that form the outdoor entrance sequence, the architects installed a bright orange portal to mark the threshold to the presentation room. 

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rows of chairs facing a screen

“Passing through the colorful entry portal, a clean, modern, open floor plan emerges, revealing visual continuity of spaces framed between engineered European hardwood oak floors and an acoustic ceiling that stretch across its entirety,” the architects noted of the minimalist and modern interior design. “The space artfully combines hints of industrial design and strategic uses of geometry and light, creating a stimulating ambiance that is conducive to thinking and learning.”

+ Efficiency Lab for Architecture

Photography by Blake Marvin via Efficiency Lab for Architecture