As the cultural, financial, and political center of Silicon Valley, San Jose is a hub of innovation thanks to a booming high-tech industry. The area is home to big names such as Cisco, eBay, Adobe, and PayPal. It’s no wonder that production facilities for brands such as these are also constantly being built in the city.
This list of the best industrial architects in San Jose features some of the firms that have been trusted by the top companies to design these complex structures. They are led by members and fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/FAIA), the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals and Building Design + Construction (LEED AP BD + C)-certified designers, and veterans of the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (A/E/C) industry, both locally and worldwide.
Habitec Architecture & Interior Design
2290 North 1st Street, Suite 304, San Jose, CA 95131
Kettmann Machining began as a subcontractor supplying parts to other machine hubs in Silicon Valley. Today, it serves the medical, commercial, computer, and US defense industries. Its headquarters in San Jose is fitted with manufacturing machinery that enables the company to produce the same一and even better一quality equipment for these markets. The meeting spaces in the facility are also conducive to brainstorming the latest innovations in the industry, with window walls framing views of its picturesque location.
This facility was designed by Habitec Architecture and Interior Design, which was also established in San Jose in 1972. Founding Principal Jim Starkovich, AIA, continues to lead the team in creating innovative and sustainable designs for office, retail, mixed-use, education, industrial, medical, hospitality, and recreational spaces. The firm has designed hundreds of buildings totaling approximately 30 million square feet and over 10 million square feet of interior spaces across Silicon Valley.
2216 The Alameda, Santa Clara, CA 95050
Four buildings make up the 325,000-square-foot Walsh at Lafayette Industrial Park in Santa Clara. Suites range from 16,800 square feet to 150,480 square feet, with 18 to 24-foot clear heights, grade-level and dock-high doors, and truck staging areas. The park is a stone’s throw from restaurants and other local amenities and has quick access to the US-101 and I-880. San Jose International Airport is also less than four miles away.
The park was designed by HPC Architecture, established by President and CEO Steven Cox, AIA, NCARB in 1987. Cox holds a master’s degree in Architecture from the California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and has led the firm in building for an impressive list of high-tech and corporate clients throughout the Bay Area and Northern California, including Adobe, Facebook, Panasonic, and Papa John’s.
1036 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126
Chairman and CEO John “Ozzie” Nelson, Jr. represents the second generation of leadership for NELSON Worldwide, which his father originally established as an interior design firm in 1977. Nelson has since grown the company into a multidisciplinary firm with a national and global presence, serving the healthcare, higher education, hospitality, industrial, retail, and workplace industries. Its roster of clients includes 40 percent of the Fortune 500: Google, Hershey’s, Macy’s, Hilton, and Target, to name a few.
Nelson Worldwide helped create Tide Laundromat, the first smart laundromat concept in America. The stores make use of the detergent brand’s auto-dosing machine technology, allowing customers to customize their laundry cycle depending on what kinds of clothing they’re washing and drying. The machines are linked to Tide’s mobile app, which shows machine availability, enables mobile payments, and provides status updates and notifications. Customers enjoy this service as well as comfortable seating areas and clean folding and prep tables in the stores that reflect Tide’s signature bright blue and orange hues 一 all making for a topnotch laundry experience.
2855 Kifer Road, Suite 145, Santa Clara, CA 95051
Now with 18 offices in the US and across the globe, the SSOE Group has been working on complicated, high-stakes projects since 1948. University of Toledo Mechanical Engineering alumnus and Professional Engineer President and CEO Vince DiPofi brings over 40 years of experience in the A/E/C industry to the firm. Many of SSOE’s clients in the automotive, battery manufacturing, chemical, consumer products, energy and power, food and beverage, glass, manufacturing and tech, pharmaceutical, and semiconductor markets have been with them for over 20 years. The firm’s focus on value engineering has saved over $1.6 billion for its clients over the years.
Toyota has trusted SSOE for multiple locations of its North American Motor Engineering and Manufacturing program since 1999. From expanding existing factory and assembly plant spaces to master planning new sites, SSOE has been able to consistently design facilities for less than any of the market competition, with lower numbers of errors and omissions.
453 West San Carlos Street, Suite 115, San Jose, CA 95110
New security systems, digital ticket, and fare validation machines were installed throughout the 20-mile, 28-station Santa Clara/Alum Rock bus rapid transit (BRT) system. IBI Group provided the station architecture, structural, urban, and technology design for this limited-stop connection to downtown San Jose. The design included weather protection sheltering, ergonomic seating, intuitive signage, lighting, local art, and distinctive branding featuring unique station icons. A real-time communications system featuring “next bus” technology provides up-to-the-minute arrival information throughout the network via electronic signs and wireless connections.
Headquartered in Toronto, IBI Group has been designing high-rises, industrial buildings, schools, state-of-the-art hospitals, highways, airports, and everything in between on a global scale since 1974. Leading the US sector intelligence operations is Director Paul Lavallee—an internationally recognized transit technology specialist with over 30 years of experience in the field. He works closely with the firm’s services, solutions, and operations specialists to help organizations effectively integrate technology into city planning, design and operation activities, and business infrastructures.
HGA Architects and Engineers
84 West Santa Clara Street, Suite 200, San Jose, CA 95113
Aiming to create America’s most technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable medical hospital for babies, children, and expectant mothers, Lucile Packard Hospital Stanford (LPCH) tapped HGA Architects and Engineers as executive architect and medical planner. Collaborators on the 521,000-square-foot project worked closely with patients, families, and hospital faculty and staff to realize this vision. HGA launched a data-driven planning process一simulations, tours, gathering feedback from physicians and staff一to create an operationally efficient medical platform for pediatric care. The project earned LEED-Platinum certification for sustainability innovations such as water-efficient landscaping and water collections systems, recycled and reclaimed local materials, and an exterior shading system that reduces the need for air conditioning. It also won the 2018 AIA/Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) Healthcare Design Award.
What started in a basement office in 1953 has grown into an 11-office company working coast to coast. Today, the 850-strong team is led by CEO and Design Principal Tim Carl, FAIA, LEED AP, who has been with HGA since 1998. The University of Notre Dame Architecture degree holder’s innovative leadership is anchored on a holistic approach to architecture. That’s something the entire team shares as it designs technically complex structures throughout the US and beyond.
225 West Santa Clara Street, Suite 1100, San Jose, CA 95113
The $1.3-billion modernization of the Mineta San Jose International Airport involved creating a master plan for a new Terminal B and Concourse, major upgrades of existing terminal space, new parking facilities, and an improved roadway system. Advanced design and building materials went into the LEED Silver-certified 1,600-foot long project.
These upgrades were collaborated on by Gensler, a firm whose designs have reached as far away as Asia, Europe, and Australia during its 50 years in the business. Leading the 6,000-strong team are co-CEOs Diane Hoskins, FAIA, NCARB and International Interior Design Association (IIDA) member Andy Cohen, FAIA. Hoskins holds an Architecture degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cohen earned his from the Pratt Institute, with a concentration in Sustainable Design. Both have received recognition through the years for their work with Gensler. The San Jose office is led by co-Managing Directors and Principals Matin Zargari and Peter Weingarten, AIA, LEED AP BD+C. Both were also instrumental in establishing the Oakland office and continue to build the firm’s local presence in Silicon Valley.