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A terse challenge was posed by Nvidia co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang: Create a headquarters that enables the company’s 2,500 employees to interact with one another. Gensler design director Philippe Paré and managing director Hao Ko responded by conceiving the 500,000-square-foot, Santa Clara, California, building as a campus, rather than a campus of buildings, which was the usual program for the tech company’s counterparts.
And they did it with the triangle. Pragmatically, “The shape allowed us to contain all that space on just two stories,” Ko explains of the project’s architecture, which he led. Paré, overseeing interiors, clustered staffers must-use spaces—meeting areas, restrooms, pantry—in the atrium’s central core, ensuring that they would, indeed, interact. A ceiling skin of perforated black painted steel defines the construction. “It looks like a stealth object,” Paré says. A mezzanine comprising shared lounges and open office areas furthers the communal spirit.
Elsewhere, the triangle motif recurs in such details as the pantry’s walnut screen. Above it all, the ceiling is peppered with skylights, myriad small and one enormous, in the shape of, yes, a triangle. Gensler is clearly on point.
Project Team: Manan Shah; Danielle Benz; Mirko Wanders; Eugene Lee; Brent Van Gunten; Jenny Ogasawara; Mark Fairman.
Originally published in the May 2018 issue.