‘Revising’ Silicon Valley’s Landscape

When O+A began getting landscape projects, they were basic—small rooftop and patio redesigns—a change of finish materials or the addition of small planters. Mostly they were extensions of interiors projects we were already working on.

The first larger-scale project brought to us was Champion Station in Silicon Valley. Because of innovative thinking, a great client and a strong team of designers; O+A was able to successfully transform an underused and overgrown landscape into something desirable to new clientele in The Valley. Designing the landscape from a predominately interiors firm was an interesting task. Interior design is typically produced with a given set of parameters – an existing building envelope – whereas the parameters used in landscape architecture are less about working around existing walls, floors and ceilings, and more about the environmental and architectural influences. Champion Station was the perfect marriage of these two disciplines. We were able to seamlessly connect the exterior to the interior and adapt existing landscape elements to new uses. By limiting the need for new construction and using existing elements we devised an economical and sustainable solution for make Silicon Valley a more desirable place to work.

Silicon Valley has been the focus of much conversation in the design community in the last few years. The region was originally planned around the automobile. As priorities are shifting, it has become more difficult to market as a desirable location when many companies are moving to urban areas like San Francisco and Oakland. We see an opportunity to transform existing conditions in Silicon Valley to adapt to the current demand much as we did at Champion Station. Silicon Valley and the Bay Area as a whole are changing rapidly—we are interested in how we can ‘revise’ our existing landscape. How can we adapt what is already there to align with current trends in public space? And how can we pull the principles of office design into the landscape, to create a functional and productive working atmosphere while respecting the needs of the community and the surrounding environment?

Written By: Justin Ackerman
Image Sources: Jasper Sanidad and Google