Innovation Curve: Technology Park at Stanford Research Park

Palo Alto, USA
Architects
Form4 Architecture
Location
Palo Alto, USA
Year
2014

The design for this new workplace recognizes and celebrates the essence of a research park: an innovative entrepreneurial spirit. The blue horizontal ribbon element follows the shape of the classic R&D timeline: from creative spark, through trial and tribulation, to welcome success. The highs and lows of an idea within reach, yet to be perfected and fine-tuned metaphorically bearing anticipation and anxiety. For this scheme, the innovation diagram is generative of the compound’s urban appearance, as well as its internal parti. To further activate the space, terraces break down the scale of the building along the inner campus to create places for people to work or meet.

The project rises on a hotspot in the golden geography of the bits economy in Silicon Valley. Located on the edge of Stanford Research Park, the site sits directly across the street from the Hewlett Packard Headquarters. The two existing buildings were deemed inimical to future growth for the sought-after tenants, these obsolete structures are slated for demolition. But their previous occupants are just as legendary as their immediate neighbors: the two bars housed the most recent headquarters of the giant company Facebook.

Ever conscious of the importance of sustainability, the envelope shading strategy, conceived in a lyrical way, takes on a form evocative of this entrepreneurial spirit. The clear glass envelope with glass shading fins creates a crystalline form that evokes a sense of lightness and spirit. In an effort to let the energy model allow more exterior glass, deep horizontal sunshades are present throughout the buildings. Translucent glass fin verticals and a deep roof overhang complete the shading strategy. The building will achieve a LEED Platinum rating, and through the use of photovoltaics will also achieve a Net Zero rating.

The normative Silicon Valley Tech campus is closed to the public. The Innovation Curve breaks with this tradition by reaching out to road entry, welcoming the public into a vast inner courtyard garden.

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