Tasked with transforming a series of blighted industrial spaces into a gateway for a new 10-acre campus, SERA created unique, connected outdoor places with distinct identities where employees can connect, play, eat, socialize and discover.
Formerly an open concrete plaza, surface parking lot and abandoned data center equipment yard, the team envisioned these disconnected outdoor spaces as a social hub between our Industry-Influenced Social Hub and Daylit Homage to Agriculture projects. Featuring a large cafe and a generously landscaped internal courtyard, respectively, the two buildings are the first in what the global technology client anticipates will be a model campus of culturally and socially engaging spaces – setting the stage for future projects.
The visual character of the new sitework honors both the agricultural and industrial phases of development that preceded the current technological aegis of Silicon Valley.
With its intricate three-dimensional maze of old pumps, tanks, piping and conduit set within massive masonry walls, the equipment yard presented a plethora of unusual challenges. Rather than fully demolish this space, the team saw an opportunity to take advantage of this unexpected asset by creating a multisensory, playful outdoor experience unlike anything in the client portfolio. Using comprehensive laser scanning and engaging the client in a hands-on culling exercise, the tangle of equipment was selectively removed to reveal a series of micro-environments, enhanced with custom seating, plantings and lighting. By “crashing” through the surrounding masonry wall – strategic rubble remaining – the once-mysterious equipment yard is dramatically highlighted. This feature helps inject a sense of humor into the daily lives of employees.
The industrial-inspired outdoor space directly connects to an adjacent ground floor café that celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage. Here, a series of serveries and seating areas ranging in size and intimacy deliver warmth through a palette of handcrafted elements and saturated colors inspired by the seasons. The cafe and sitework together act as a rejuvenating indoor-outdoor hub of campus.