Region: North America
Location: San Jose, California, U.S.A.
FT2 Construction: 120,556 sq ft
FT2 Ground: 0 sq ft
Involved Areas: Architecture, Interior Design
ARQUTIECTURA Y DISEÑO DE INTERIORES: LEGORRETA®
ARQUITECTO EJECUTIVO: THE STEINBERG GROUP (Hoy STEINBERG HART)
STRUCTURAL DESIGN Rinne + Peterson
HVAC Guttman + Mac Ritchie
INTERIOR DESIGN SMWM y LEGORRETA®
LIGHTING DESIGN Fisher Marantz Renfro Stone
GRAPHIC DESIGN Debra Nichols Design
Located in a prominent setting in the heart of San Jose, the Tech Museum of Innovation seeks to contribute to the urban image of the city. The museums architectural design acknowledges above all, its character as a public building. The massing is a result of both functional requirements and a response to its surroundings. The building is conceived as a horizontal block which has been carved out by the diversity of events happening in it. The most prominent feature is the Omnimax Large-Screen Theaters (LTS) cylindrical mass which, finished in glazed tile and topped by a metal dome, intends to accentuate its position as a landmark at the corner of South Market Street & Park Avenue. The Museums facades were designed taking the buildings urban setting into consideration, thus aligning them with the street. On the Market Street side, a large beam spans and frames the identity that provides the main entrance. In contrast, the rest of the facade is solid with a game of openings for the cafe, retail store and a terrace overlooking César Chávez Park. The Park Avenue elevation is of a more abstract composition and gives a more discrete treatment to the secondary entrance of the building (to be used mainly by groups arriving by bus) as well as providing an entrance to the existing park side exhibit halls. Visitors entering through the main access on Market Street will find a unique vaulted ceiling space which houses the retail store and the cafe; as they continue on to the main lobby, it opens into two spectacular multiple-height atriums on both sides. From the lobby, visitors can access paid-admission exhibits and the 300 seat LST, also an important part of the visitor experience. The atriums serve as orientation points, and each has a different character. The north atrium, the first one, for visitors’ encounters, is dominated by the curved wall of the theater cylinder with its rich texture and color. The south atrium, in contrast, is a truly dynamic space. Two pairs of escalators serving the upper and lower levels from the ground level cross the atrium from side to side emphasizing the movement through the space and in which the visitor becomes an active participant. A cone-shaped skylight adds to the dynamics of the south atrium and, together with a set of smaller square skylights, provides natural daylight and form an abstract composition in the ceiling. The design purpose of the Tech Museum of Innovation building goes beyond that of solving the specific needs of such an institution. It intends to provide its visitors with a spatial experience that only further enhances its educational purpose as well as constituting itself as a landmark in the cityscape of San José.