San Jose City College Science Complex

Client: San Jose-Evergreen Community College District
Services Provided: Master Planning, Programming, Design, Construction Documents, Construction Administration
Project Location: San Jose, CA
Project Size: 56,800 sf
Completion Date: April 2007
Sustainability: Sustainable Design Features Included
Program: Biology, Chemistry and Physics Labs, Greenhouse, Faculty Offices, Computer Labs

Following the master plan goals to transform San Jose City College from an often maligned campus (originally a technical high school) to one that reflects the Silicon Valley’s “tour de force” high technology, the new Science complex answers the needs of the community. The complex was planned to celebrate and showcase the sciences by forcing students to flow through the rotunda/lobby of the building on their way into the core of the campus. The central rotunda contains a DNA spiral staircase that highlights DNA and RNA strands and a large tile graphic of DNA at the center. The science department’ intent was to get non-science students to ask the all important question, why?

All students negotiating the campus can see into the biological, chemistry, physical sciences and physics areas and additionally the biological sciences spill out into the central courtyard with a bio-diverse demonstration garden. Demonstration greenhouses also promote interest to the casual passersby. The Biological sciences wing and the chemistry sciences wings both have computer supported tutorial spaces and casual student study spaces to promote peer led team learning. Tutoring also takes place among the vertebrae and taxidermy specimens in the Natural Sciences Museum. The faculty offices are clustered to promote interdisciplinary work and collegiality among peers.