Fast Company — "Sprawl Ruined Silicon Valley. Can World Class Architecture Fix It?"

"In the heart of Silicon Valley, where the landscape is dominated by self-contained tech campuses and low-density car-oriented urbanism, a major new development is bringing in a team of world-class architects to add a collection of mixed-use projects to downtown San Jose. Concentrating modern workspaces and residences near the growing city’s key amenities and forthcoming regional transportation links, the sustainability-minded development could be the start of an urban revolution in the valley...Westbank CEO Ian Gillespie frames it as a reinvention of Silicon Valley’s urban form. . . . Gillespie argues that world-class architecture is important to ensuring the project can have a significant impact on the city. He’s pulled in most of these big-name architects for other projects in cities such as Vancouver, Seattle, Toronto, and Tokyo, but this will be Westbank’s first collaboration with Chicago-based Studio Gang.

The firm’s principal, Jeanne Gang, says she was attracted to the project by its ambition but also Gillespie’s focus on social equity and climate issues. The building her firm designed for the development is trying to push some limits on energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable materials. Using mass timber as its main building material, the mid-rise office and retail building has low embodied carbon, and Gang hopes it can serve as proof that mass timber can work at scale."

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