By Lisa Brown

As Valley tenants demand space that more closely aligns with lifestyles, LPA talks sustainability, reimagined spaces and the future of downtown design in the second of a two-part EXCLUSIVE.

SAN JOSE—LPA Inc. recently completed two reimagined corporate spaces in downtown. Ten Almaden was designed to create a space for tenants to work, lounge and gather. The improvements at Towers @ 2nd support technology-based organizations with custom workspace designs.

In this second part of a two-part exclusive, LPA’s Patrick McClintock, associate principal/design director, and Vlatka Bojer, project designer, discuss sustainability, reimagined spaces, designs that change hands and the future of downtown design.

... How does the design process differ from a ground-up development to a reimagined property? 

Bojer: When it’s a reimaging of a building, you are working within the structural bones of that building. Oftentimes, we can’t just get rid of columns that are already established. Essentially, you need to be a little more creative to design in those spaces, whereas a ground-up building is a blank canvas and you can have a lot more freedom.

McClintock: Ultimately, they both respond to specific needs and a program of spaces that allow for the success of those activities. Reimaged properties present a new set of opportunities that take cues from the existing context of the site, building infrastructure and other existing elements. Existing buildings have a unique history that can relate to a place and industry or its former occupants. People are looking for authenticity and connection, and reimagining gives us fantastic platform to reinvigorate the dialogue between understanding the past and forging the future. What do you think is the future of the downtown San Jose commercial real estate design?

Bojer: We are seeing tech companies from Santa Clara move into downtown San Jose, which is going to be challenging because downtown does not have a lot of room. A lot of the buildings will be revitalizing work to attract these new tenants.

McClintock: Downtown San Jose will continue to benefit from the vibrancy that is realized in the contrast of new and old. Downtown is at the hub of the innovation-based economy and that will not be defined by walls, hours or workstyle. There’s going to be a continued focus on the human-centric side of design and the need for spaces and places that foster the social, nimble and fluid nature of the organizations that drive the Silicon Valley.

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