Architecture

Kengo Kuma's greenery-filled office will be a walk in the park

Kengo Kuma's greenery-filled o...
Construction recently began on Park Habitat and it's due to be completed in 2025
Construction recently began on Park Habitat and it's due to be completed in 2025
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Construction recently began on Park Habitat and it's due to be completed in 2025
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Construction recently began on Park Habitat and it's due to be completed in 2025
Park Habitat will be located in downtown San José, California
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Park Habitat will be located in downtown San José, California
Park Habitat will feature a glazed facade, with large amounts of greenery enlivening its exterior
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Park Habitat will feature a glazed facade, with large amounts of greenery enlivening its exterior
Park Habitat will be topped by a lush rooftop garden
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Park Habitat will be topped by a lush rooftop garden
Park Habitat will be arranged around a central "Green Lung" atrium that's designed to maximize ventilation throughout the mixed-use building
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Park Habitat will be arranged around a central "Green Lung" atrium that's designed to maximize ventilation throughout the mixed-use building
Park Habitat will include a sunken garden area on its lowest floors that's conceived as a covered porch for the public
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Park Habitat will include a sunken garden area on its lowest floors that's conceived as a covered porch for the public
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With its huge amount of greenery, both inside and out, Kengo Kuma's upcoming Park Habitat is designed to offer a much more pleasant workplace than the average office building. It will also feature sustainable design, including an interesting cooling central atrium named the "Green Lung."

The high-rise building will be located in downtown San José, California, and will feature a glazed facade with shading louvers that will be broken up by lots of plants and other greenery.

Its interior will measure 1.3 million sq ft (roughly 120,000 sq m), spread over 20 floors, and will mostly consist of office space and retail space. However, it will also host a number of small parks and green terraces, as well as a large landscaped rooftop garden and yet another garden area on the lower floors that's conceived as a covered porch for the public.

Additionally, the building will be centered around a so-called Green Lung atrium, which will be used to maximize ventilation and natural light throughout in a similar way to SOM's "breathing building."

Park Habitat will be arranged around a central "Green Lung" atrium that's designed to maximize ventilation throughout the mixed-use building
Park Habitat will be arranged around a central "Green Lung" atrium that's designed to maximize ventilation throughout the mixed-use building

"Park Habitat breathes with an outsized vertical courtyard called the Green Lung," explained Westbank, which is developing alongside Urban Community, Peterson, and OPTrust. "The biophilic stance of the building is systemic and performative, not just metaphorical: the shape and proportions of the space rely on wind pressures in tandem with operable facades, thermal mass, and vegetation to draw air into the spaces by day, and to flush air and heat by night – architectural inhalation and exhalation on a 24 hour cycle. The Green Lung brings light deep into each floor and surprises as a vertical garden, pervading the building's atmospheres."

Park Habitat is part of a larger Net Zero development in San José and is also slated for the LEED Platinum green building standard. In addition to the efforts to maximize light and ventilation inside, water usage will also be a key concern, which makes sense given all that greenery, and plans call for water reuse and treatment systems, plus non-potable water will be used for irrigation.

Though it'll be hooked up to the grid, solar panels will produce some power, while energy efficient heating and cooling systems will complement the passive ventilation systems. The press release also mentions low-carbon building materials, however, we've no further information on that aspect at this stage.

Construction work on Park Habitat began recently and it's due to be completed in 2025.

Sources: Park Habitat, Westbank

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