The Orchard Workspace
Westbank Campus: Transforming San Jose
As Vancouver-based developer Westbank looks to transform San Jose, it does so with great ambition and optimism. Westbank Campus includes six highly sustainable and performative buildings designed to embrace nature and the public realm. The campus will connect people and inspire the next generation of innovators and create a healthier, more resilient, and beautiful community. The collection of residences and workspace is being designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates, Bjarke Ingels Group, James K.M. Cheng Architects, Studio Gang, and WRNS Studio. Westbank is leading the development in partnership with Urban Community, Peterson, and OPTrust.
The Orchard comprises two distinct projects and sites within the Westbank Campus: a residential building by James K.M. Cheng Architects and a new workplace by WRNS Studio, the Orchard Workspace. The Orchard Workspace includes two towers over a podium organized around a large public market that will be both a regional destination and a daily resource to the neighborhood. Retail, alleyways, and ample public spaces connect the residential and workplace sites with one another and the City. The residential and workplace projects complement each other, reinstating the natural world within the heart of the built environment—the orchards of Santa Clara Valley now vertical. Large balconies on the building facades bring native and drought tolerant plantings as well as fruit-bearing trees into the urban setting. This strategy extends the live/workspace, cleans the air, provides shade, supports energy efficiency, and creates comfortable indoor/outdoor environments. The Orchard displays leadership in addressing climate change, responds to the unique character of its neighborhood, and offers an inspiring live/work ecosystem that design to bring out the best in our community.
Market Hall + Public Realm
A bridge between the vibrant SoFa District and an adjacent university neighborhood, the Orchard Workspace integrates seamlessly with Downtown San Jose’s urban fabric. The Orchard Workspace pulls energy from the neighborhood’s well-established arts and culture scene while offering up its own civic amenity in the form of a generous, block-scale indoor/outdoor public market, Market Hall. Located directly across the street from San Jose’s iconic Art Deco California Theater, Market Hall offers a pre- and post-function gathering space and neighborhood hub. Evocative of European open-air street markets, it will host a variety of food venues focused on local, sustainably-harvested foods with zero waste goals. Market Hall connects with the Orchard’s many amenities, including a podium rooftop which doubles as an urban theater/events space and a number of well-positioned corner restaurants that help activate the street. Circulation within Market Hall reinforces the City grid, opens out onto a light filled paseo, and links to major pedestrian thoroughfares, creating a strong and cohesive sense of place. Productive gardens contribute dining ingredients to the restaurants with the potential to support neighborhood needs, permaculture and urban farming education.
Creatives + Connection
Creatives working in dense urban areas such as Downtown San Jose seek connection to nature and community. The Orchard Workspace delivers on this expectation by offering a myriad of ways for inhabitants to gather in shared purpose and identity, inside and out. Large floor plates with interior and exterior connecting stairs and planted balconies bring people together, while warm materials and transparency invite inhabitants to explore the many offerings of the Orchard Workspace. The five lower levels support collective functions with shared amenities such as fitness centers, training rooms, meeting spaces and food venues, with flexibility for future offerings. The upper floors accommodate team-based neighborhoods, with phone rooms, meeting rooms, and kitchens directly adjacent to workspace. Workspace flex for both individual and team-based work, welcoming creatives to flow outdoors and engage the City of San Jose and the mood of the day.
Sustainability + Wellness
The Orchard Workspace combines regional agrarian memory and innovative spirit to achieve deep sustainability: each integrated strategy was selected to support energy efficiency, low carbon, and net zero water goals. A water balance study and water budget informed conservation and management strategies, which include a district-scale reclaimed water system that connects with the residential building and collects, treats, and stores water onsite. Dual plumbing supports the use of reclaimed water for all non-potable uses, including irrigation of the extensive native and drought tolerant plantings. A polyculture approach helps ensure a healthy ecosystem while biophilic design strategies and a high-performance facade support human comfort. Shading and daylighting strategies reduce solar gains, system cooling demands, energy consumption and glare. Underfloor air distribution and operable windows enable maximum fresh air ventilation.
Rooftop photovoltaic panels and recycled water systems further support resource management and decarbonization. Tenant guidelines and major building materials like mass timber, glazing systems, insulation and concrete mix design support indoor environmental quality, wellness, circulation and embodied carbon considerations.
Live Work Ecosystem
The Orchard draws on the energy and unique heritage of San Jose’s SoFa District, takes cues from the region’s native ecological systems and agrarian history, and anticipates a future of living and working that is connected, healthy, and sustainable. In doing so, the Orchard sits at the nexus of nature, innovation, civic wellbeing— a thriving, “complete” place where people will want to be.