San Jose City Hall
Large entry rotunda embraces a city's residents.
Architects & Firms
San Jose, California
The San Jose City Hall and Civic Center, in San Jose, Calif., marks the new centerpiece of a decade-long redevelopment of the city’s seven-block civic district. The entire site includes a new performance hall, elementary school, and library. City Hall itself comprises an 18-story tower that houses municipal offices, city council chambers, a major public rotunda, an exterior plaza, and below grade parking.
A sweeping public plaza leads to the building’s main entrance on Santa Clara Street. Its focal point is the entry itself: a glazed, domed volume that serves as a visible symbol of the city government. This transparent lobby is large enough to accommodate public events such as speeches, concerts, and exhibitions. Complementing the rotunda on its east side is the office tower; on the west side is a three-story council wing, which houses the Council Chambers, public meeting rooms, retail spaces, and additional departmental offices.
Exterior finish materials include stone, metal panel, clear glass, and concrete. The thin building proportions are achieved with a unique dual structural system that utilizes concrete shear walls as “bookends” to provide lateral strength. This system allows for narrow floor plates that, combined with a west-facing brise soleil, support daylighting and natural ventilation throughout the interiors. Elements such as the sunscreen and the large entry rotunda give the building a landmark quality that befits its purpose as City Hall.
City of San Jose
Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Principals in charge: Richard Meier, FAIA; Michael Palladino, AIA; James R. Crawford, AIA
Project architect: Timothy Shea, AIA
Interiors: Richard K. Irving
Collaborators: Richard Stoner; Karen Bragg; Stuart Magruder; Michael Bessner; Rhonna Del Rio-Ascolese; David Chang; Steven Hyuk Chung; Tom Farrell; Shekar Ganti; Stefan Gould; Michael Gruber; Yunghee Kim; Willis Kusuma; Joongkee Lee; Kimberly Lenz; Aryan Omar; Mark Sparrowhawk; Nathan Urban
Associate architect: Steinberg Architects
Structural: Englekirk & Sabol
Civil: CH2M HILL
Landscape: Patricia O’Brien Landscape Architecture
Lighting: Fisher Marantz Stone
Acoustical, a/v: Shen Milsom & Wilke; and Paoletti
Turner Devcon joint venture
Mix of cast-in-place concrete and structural steel systems
Masonry: Indiana limestone
Metal/glass curtainwall: Anodized aluminum panel and glass curtain wall
Concrete: Architectural cast-in-place concrete
Glass plank glazing system
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Stained ash and painted millwork
Paneling: Painted gypsum board; Perforated metal panel
Floor and wall tile: Terrazzo