San Jose Museum Comp
San Jose, California
Art and Design are not superfluous novelties or specialties, but
are fundamental to learning and discovery. Therefore, the role of the museum is
central and necessarily laced into the core of university life. Consequently,
the siting and planning of the building attempts to weave the program, space,
and circulation of the Department of Art and Design into that of the larger
institution, while respecting the existing campus morphology.
Flexible exhibition space is not provided by neutral boxes, nor
highly figural spaces, but rather by the vantage points that result from the
viewer’s interaction with given spatial relationships. The spatial variety, in
both scale and proportion, provided by the design allows the curator to
determine such interaction.
Placement of the public exterior stair activates and intensifies
the zone between the student center and the north promenade. The exterior stair
brings one to the multi-purpose theater space and leads to the third floor
Passage to the third floor bridge offers glimpses into the large
gallery space on the second floor. From the third floor, one can access
departmental classrooms and studios, which are now integrated, not separated
from the institution of the museum. Circulation continues across the gap back to
the existing Art and Design building and provides views of the reformed
courtyard from above.
A new café and bookstore revive the inner courtyard of the
existing Art and Design building as well as the north promenade. Upon entering
the café, one is drawn into proximity of the Museum galleries, the theater and
the main entrance to the existing Department building.
The placement of the building creates more intimately shaped,
courtyard spaces. Massive cantilevers establish a strong presence while
respecting the boundaries of the existing department building footprint.