The architectural renaiassance in Silicon Valley seems to be still gathering steam. In a region not known for its notable buildings, tech companies and developers now seem intent on changing the region's drab image.
The latest entry in the valley's architectural sweepstakes is a cluster of office buildings being proposed for Sunnyvale called the Central & Wolfe campus.
The building is being built on "spec." That is, there are no official tenants as yet. But the company developing the project, Landbank Investments, is a family firm and one of the region's oldest developers and has worked with many of the valley's biggest tech companies over the years.
Landbank owns the land where there are currently nine standard office buildings that would be leveled and replaced by a swirling design that boasts floor-to-ceiling glass windows that wrap around the exterior.
Scott Jacobs, chief executive of Menlo Park-based Landbank, said that after years of developing office buildings, the firm wanted to use the opportunity to redevelop the site to make a departure from its playbook.
"We wanted to reimagine what a technology campus in suburban Silicon Valley could be," he said.
Landbank is not alone, of course. Nvidia Corp., Google Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook and Samsung Electronics Co. have all either proposed or started building daring new campuses that thumb their noses at the valley's generic office building style.
Adding to the building boom is a giant campus being built in North San Jose for a mystery tenant.
For Campus & Wolfe, Jacobs said the developer wanted the building to promote the cutting-edge work experiences that many tech firms are adopting. In particular, it wanted an experience that promoted more collaboration.
The firm selected HOK Architects to come up with a design for the project. In a statement, HOK said:
The buildings will also be connected by walkways that are designed to promote interaction. In addition there is an option for a lush, rooftop garden that Jacobs hopes would be another place to promote collaboration and interaction.
"We have been out marketing this to the world's largest technology companies for the better part of six to nine months," Jacobs said. "The reception we've gotten from them has been overwhelmingly positive."