Projects

Brocade Communication System Headquarter - San José, CA (USA)

When well-being is a corporate strategy

San José, California: the new headquarters of Brocade Communications Systems
Author
Giuliano Chiarabini
Photos
Bernard André
Architect
RMW Architecture and Interiors
Surfaces
CAESAR
Distributor
SpecCeramics
Year of completion
2010

The U.S. company Brocade Communications Systems, a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of advanced networking solutions, has chosen to celebrate its fifteen years of technological success by opening its new Californian branch in San José in the heart of Silicon Valley. Founded in 1995 as a small business with limited resources, Brocade Communications Systems was set up by three partners with the vision and foresight to anticipate the developments that would take place in terms of global networking over the coming few years. The construction of the new headquarters in San Jose therefore comes a particularly significant time for the company, which has expanded to take on a staff of more than 4,600. Efficiency, space optimisation and socialisation where the main aspects around which the architects — Robbin McDonald, Mindi Weichman, Karen Letteney, Darryl Jackson — from the Californian practice RMW Architecture & Interiors designed the new building, located on a 52,500 square metre site, as a way of translating the corporate vision into space and architecture. The importance of working in a space that is designed not just for safety but also for psychophysical well-being with the aim of achieving an effective growth in productivity and successful results was the concept that guided the practice RMW in the design of this modern, functional building that is ideal for a company that has made innovation and experimentation its mission. «We believe that the design language must express a dialogue between people, the context and culture,» the architects explained. «The ultimate quality of a project depends on the level of quality that this dialogue is able to achieve.» The new headquarters not only houses offices, research laboratories and data and solution centres, but also numerous spaces for socialisation intended to facilitate relations between employees and associates and to promote business partnerships. These include a cafeteria, a fitness centre, an amphitheatre and open-air bars. But the goal of integration pursued by the designers is not limited to the creation of recreational spaces, but also involves a continuous interplay and dialogue between these spaces and working areas. It is a dialogue facilitated both by the technologies produced by the company itself and by an logical and clean architectural concept of spaces and volumes which creates a project that is surprisingly distant from the normal schemes adopted in workplaces. A contribution to the integration of spaces also comes from the meticulous lighting design and the choice of exceptional materials that lend a uniform style and colour to the various areas while meeting the needs of the environment. For this purpose, the materials chosen for the floor and wall coverings of the entire project were the strictly Italian-made More collection from Ceramiche Caesar, which for this project won the Ceramics Tiles of Italy Design Competition 2011. With its Ecolabel and LEED certifications, the versatility, technical characteristics and outstanding aesthetic and tactile qualities made this collection ideal for the finishings of a project that combined high-quality spaces with attention to the environment. To express the contemporary nature of the project, the matt and scratched finishes were chosen together with the soft and luminous tones Iridium, Nylus and Lux. The use of large-format floor tiles and 30×60 cm wall tiles allowed large spaces to be customised in accordance with the artistic design of the project. Thanks to the use of the most advanced best practice in the field of technological innovation and the use of eco-compatible materials and eco-sustainable solutions, the project obtained LEED Gold certification, reflecting a company philosophy based on the development of solutions offering ever higher performance.

Tiles
Caesar, More series
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
60x120 cm, 90x90 cm, 30x60 cm, 30x120 cm
Colours
Iridium, Nylus, Lux
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): Resistente
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <=140 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >= 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): Naturale R9, Scratched R11C
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
ECOLABEL
LEED
ISO 14001
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