San Jose, California’s Willow Glen community has long been known as independent and forward thinking. Local citizens have rallied many times in the village’s history to stop developments and expansions that would have fractured the fabric of the community. Famously, locals “stopped the buck,” rather than passing it when corporate types attempted to bring a railroad through the heart of the area, as well as when the city attempted to build a road through the middle of the square. Suffice to say, a relatively recent redevelopment of the storied town square was an important issue for locals. Much careful consideration and planning went into the improved Willow Glen Town Square so that its important past would be honored while also offering residents’ use and enjoyment of the space today.
PAJA Investments, the private owner of the property, worked with Kahn Design Associates (KDA) to engage the community early on and allay any concerns. At a community meeting, PAJA Investments and the team from KDA shared initial designs and concepts, receiving overwhelmingly positive support community wide.
The updated town square anchors on a beautifully designed building that blends restaurants, retail, and mixed office space, enhanced with a fountain and intricate landscaping to entice residents for frequent visits. The location is populated with a variety of local businesses and attractive public spaces, an artful balance to strengthen the area’s commerce and heighten its recreation and sense of community.
Likewise the space’s design and construction is a balance of smart business and inviting aesthetic, as well. Crossville’s versatile tile products offered the ideal blend of performance and beauty for both exterior and interior applications. Project designers chose Crossville tile for the cladding of the exterior tower of the building, a visual focal point that is signature to the project’s design. Crossville’s Color Blox in the Caboose colorway, as well as the Ultimetal line (now discontinued), offer the style and performance needed for the prominent, exterior feature.
With more than 200 color and size combinations, Crossville’s Exterior Cladding Systems include seismic-zone approved tiles that are engineered for utility savings due to thermal mass advantages. The Color Blox Collection is suitable for virtually any application where conventional masonry is used, as well as installations where brick is not feasible.
Inside the facility, restrooms are attractively finished with Crossville’s Empire Collection. Empire’s classic look gives a nod to the building’s historical tradition while also providing a practical, low maintenance solution for floors that are sure to see high traffic.
Willow Glen is Silver Level LEED certified. Crossville’s products contain 3rd-party certified recycled content and are manufactured with sustainable practices, providing materials that support this coveted green designation.
In the spirit of the community it serves, Willow Glen Town Square is a development that’s respectful of its history yet focused on the future. Today, the constant stream of visitors enjoying this mixed-use retail and residential center is testament of what can be achieved through the collaborative visions of property owner, architect, and local citizens.