- Sustainable Architecture
- Innovation Curve Technology Park in Silicon Valley by Form4 Architecture
A sustainable landmark in Silicon Valley: the new Innovation Curve Technology Park designed by San Francisco-based Form4 Architecture comprises four buildings on the edge of Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto. This architecture full of sweeps and curves celebrates the creative process of invention by creating a campus focused on sustainability.
The project stands on a 55,000-square metre area and is structured around a central courtyard with diagonal pedestrian paths leading from adjacent streets through the site. The total usable area of the four buildings in the complex is 25,000 square metres. The buildings are colour-coded and are being built in two phases. Phase 1 has just been completed and comprises the blue building and the red building. Phase 2 is due for completion in 2020 and includes the remaining two buildings - one yellow and the other purple.
The intention of the architecture designed by Form4 Architecture is to represent the digital innovation going on inside the buildings. So the exteriors have projecting roofs and deep overhangs, made from painted recycled aluminium. Not for nothing is the shape reminiscent of roller-coasters: the two-storey sweeping metal curves rise to represent the crescendo of the creative spark and pragmatic analysis of ideas, and descend to transition into long, horizontal bands symbolizing the implementation phase of invention. Then the low points near the ground capture the challenging process of risk assessment, market financing, and decision-making. From there, they rise to the ends of each building to express a feasible, forward-looking conclusion to the innovation diagram. This way, the architecture of the new research park captures the forward-leaning spirit of technology in metal and glass, evoking machined precision, transparency, and modernity. Thus, the process of creativity is made visible in three dimensions.
But the project by Form4 Architecture is much more than its symbolical significance, it has tangible consequences for the sustainability of the Innovation Curve Technology Park. The deep overhangs work in combination with vertical glass fins as a passive architectural solution and serve to shade the building exteriors, control solar heat gain, and allow for greater transparency and connection to campus life. Solar-controlled skylights augment the daylighting scheme to reduce the need for artificial illumination.
To achieve its LEED-Platinum certification, Innovation Curve incorporates additional sustainable elements, such as automated shade infrastructure, high-efficiency mechanical and electrical systems, high-performance cool roofs, solar photovoltaic power generation. In addition to the recycling of construction waste, locally sourced materials, and bioswales landscaped with native plants. All of these sustainable features are good for the environment but also for the occupants, contributing to a significant increase in their thermal comfort, which results in higher satisfaction and productivity.
Project: Form4 Architecture - http://form4inc.com/
Locatiob: Palo Alto, California
Images: John Sutton. Richard Barnes