Project Goals and Program
The goal of this project was to create a physical and social activity center for a new 47-acre, five-building workplace campus. The Club offers a suite of amenities that increases the campus users’ well-being and creates a connective fabric for the workplace. The program includes a broad collection of fitness amenities: open workout spaces, specialized studios, aquatics, and indoor and outdoor sports courts. Additionally, a conference meeting area, future cafe, and outdoor patios were desired to serve as community gathering spaces.
A Restorative Campus Center
To create an attractive campus centerpiece, the building is sited in the campus’ heart amidst a sprawling greenspace and network of pathways that connect the surrounding office towers. It fronts an auto court, campuswide pathway, and parking structure to the east. This position creates a prominent identity on the campus and for visitors entering off Discovery Way.
The campus is a long, expansive site located in the flat bayshore landscape of Silicon Valley’s Moffett Park. The design resolves this site condition by stretching the club horizontally across the length of the campus, bringing it close to each of the five towers and the surrounding site amenities.
Providing easy access, it is designed with a double-sided lobby that creates visual and physical permeability between the long east and west elevations. The building form is composed of simple rectangular volumes that project off a bar-shaped circulation spine and express specific programmatic elements. This breaks the building down into smaller, palatable pieces and increases daylight in the exercise studios, meeting spaces, and future cafe. These volumes are arranged to frame protected outdoor spaces including a forecourt, a poolside patio, and a recessed secondary entrance.
Providing a defined entry experience, the recessed entries give visitors time to transition from their busy workplaces to the calming atmosphere of the club. Tower elements—containing vertical circulation—discretely mark each entrance while enhancing the effect of the building’s linear language. The design’s horizontality, broad overhangs, and natural materials impart the impression of a campus retreat and signal to visitors the restorative nature of the club.
Integration of the Outdoors and Indoors
The design brings the exterior in and creates strong connectivity between interior spaces. Positioned in the middle of the lobby, a bold, circular void creates a dramatic arrival experience and provides visual transparency and daylighting between the floors. Providing physical connectivity between floors, open stairs encourage visitors to move actively through the recreation center.
As a function-driven building, the spatial and circulation relationships guided the positioning of the program. As an example, the lap pool was placed to the south of the building to maximize year-round solar exposure and the locker rooms were located adjacent on the first floor for direct connectivity. Featuring all the exercise equipment and studios, the second-level has large expanses of glass that allow ambient light to fill the spaces. Individually expressed in the building’s form, the spin, cardio, and yoga rooms project out into the forested landscape. This approach allows each space to be wrapped in glass, offering immersive views of the surrounding trees and campus. Enhancing the indoor-outdoor connectivity, planes and materials continue between the exterior and interior, blurring the boundary between the two. Most noticeably, exterior stone walls glide through the glazing to become interior walls. Other natural materials—board-formed concrete, wood siding, and stone cobbles—are also brought inside, creating a calming and restful atmosphere.
Nestled in the Landscape
In contrast to the adjacent towers, The Club is designed as part of the natural landscape. The clefted sandstone base anchors the building to the ground and provides warm, natural textures. On the long elevations, thick stone walls extend off the building and stretch out into the landscape. Rolling berms, thick stands of trees, and native plantings surround the building and weave the site and structure together. Providing a counterpoint to the stone base, the transparent second-level has continuous expanses of full-height glazing and blind mullions. This creates an interplay between the solid, platform-like base and the light, immaterial second level. Acting as a light cap, the razor-edge roofline unifies the various rectangular forms and brings them towards the landscape.
The client and project team targeted LEED NC Platinum and achieved this high level of certification. It’s the first LEED Platinum building the client has developed under the new construction rating system. Sustainability was part of the design process from the outset, beginning with site selection, a tight envelope, and massing that responds to the orientation and uses. The site encourages public and alternative transit with a light rail station within a ½ mile, 360 campus bicycle stalls, and 166 EV campus charging stations. It was also a brownfield site that was remediated to serve the new uses.
To achieve the desired landscape connectivity, the open exercise spaces and specialized studios were positioned on the second-level with full-height glazing. This provides ample natural light and reduces the need for artificial lighting. Broad cantilevered overhangs extend eight feet beyond the building, sheltering the glazing during the summer and accentuating the building’s horizontality. The first floor’s relatively opaque facades add to the tight envelope and work well with the spatial program: large locker rooms, multi-purpose gym/event space, and the campus property management office. The envelope also has high-R value walls and high-performance insulating vision glass.
Complementing the passive strategies, renewable energy and efficient systems were implemented to reduce energy, water, and resource demand. Photovoltaic panels were placed on the entire roof surface except for the mechanical penthouse. This 123.5 kW system is projected to yield 16% of the building’s anticipated energy demand. The mechanical system is a high-efficiency VRF mechanical system with heat recovery. Energy modeling estimates that the building is 30% more efficient than the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline, a significant savings considering the exercise use and associated occupant heat gain.
Reducing potable water demand, irrigation, and toilets are designed to use reclaimed water. With the use of recycled water and low-flow fixtures, the project is estimated to reduce potable water use by 61% compared to LEED v3 baseline rates.
Owner: Jay Paul Company
GC: Level 10 Construction
Landscape: DES Architects + Engineers
Structural: DES Architects + Engineers
LEED AP: DES Architects + Engineers
Energy Modeling: NRG Engineering