The Hilltop and Creekside areas of the campus comprise 11 buildings and 3 parking structures, totaling 1.1 million square feet
The asymmetrical balance between nature and architecture is the supporting idea for Form4 Architecture’s design of VMware Campus, set in Palo Alto, CA, housing the cloud infrastructure and business mobility company’s headquarters. Encompassing 11 buildings and three parking structures for a total of more than 1.8 million square feet, the campus was designed to reject the confines of traditional office buildings, and capitalize on the serene setting in which it was built as a reflection of the company’s values. The architecture and design scheme take on its forms by revisiting the basic principles of urban design with a 21st-century twist. The project’s architecture of presence is discreet, but not timid. It sets a mechanism that allows for the flexibility of future growth, yet is fully realized in its architectural aspiration.
Surrounding a central plaza, the campus is organized around interconnected indoor and outdoor areas, including exterior bridges connecting common spaces. Above-grade parking is strategically located in four discrete and far-apart points to afford permeability of the campus from all sides. Soaring glass voids, exposing the land’s greenery and foliage, take center stage in all entryway experiences. The exposed views conjure a setting for serenity, personal time, and community events, and make nature the ultimate focus of spaces themselves. Designed with a sensitivity to its natural setting, the campus preserves the existing trees, conforms to existing topography, and retains stormwater on site through the use of bioswales and a bio-retention system. The design succeeds in marrying a world-class office environment, capable of attracting top talent, with a campus that respects and enhances the natural environment.
Numerous provisions were implemented to assure responsible use of local resources and a commitment to minimize the environmental footprint. Clerestory light-monitors calibrate natural daylight indoors for the well-being of the occupants. Operable windows enable reliable passive ventilation. Energy-efficient lighting fixtures, moderate reliance on mechanical systems, and the implementation of safe, healthy, recyclable materials were used whenever possible. Two of the 11 buildings are rated LEED Gold, three are Silver, and three are Certified.
Keeping employee well-being in mind, the designers offered other on-site amenities to the workforce, including fitness center, playing field, outdoor meeting spaces, and on-site dining facility. Located on the Eastern side of the campus, the V-shaped cafeteria is a major focus of community life. The center courtyard is host to a mature Palm Oasis and outdoor seating. Floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides of the building showcase the outdoors with food services provided in the inner core