Construction of Samsung's new Silicon Valley headquarters designed by architecture firm NBBJ has begun. The San Jose-based project will cover 1.1 million sq ft (102,000 sq m) and feature a 10-story office tower, multiple garden areas, a green-walled parking complex, and a degree of sustainable technology, including solar power.

NBBJ has good form for such a project, as the company was previously hired by Samsung's patent wars comrade-in-arms Google to build its California headquarters. Like Google's HQ, the new Silicon Valley home of Samsung Semiconductor Inc. will boast some green cred, such as a rooftop solar array and a tower facade designed to reduce solar heat gain. Natural light will also be maximized where possible, and NBBJ is aiming for eventual Gold LEED certification.

The site is split into four zones. A plaza contains stone paving, ample green space, and selected art. Surrounding this plaza is a cafe and exhibition space for Samsung to show off its latest gadgets and gizmos to the tech press.

Near to both sits a 10-story office tower which will house 2,000 of Samsung's R&D boffins and salespeople. This is the primary focus of the project, and will contain lots of greenery inside, so that employees are never more than a floor away from the benefits of healthy vegetation. Two of the floors will be completely open air. The tower is also clad in white metal and clear glass, which has been balanced to reduce the warming effects of the sun.

A large central green space is placed in the middle of the plot, and at the far west is a sports garden with workout equipment and yet more native trees and plants. Finally, a long and thin 7-storey parking garage featuring a folding green wall is on hand for those who choose not to make use of public transport options like light-rail or bus.

Looking at the renders supplied by NBBJ, Samsung's new Silicon Valley home seems set to be impressive indeed, though whether it will outshine the company's great rival remains to be seen.

Work started on the Samsung Silicon Valley HQ earlier this week, and the project is due for completion in mid-2015.

Sources: NBBJ, Samsung

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