Orchard School Library by HMC Architects

HMC Architects has released photos of a recently opened elementary and middle school library for Orchard School in San Jose, one of the oldest schools in Northern California.

The LEED Gold project combines a 3,000-square-foot renovation and a 3,000-square-foot addition. The façade, perhaps the building’s most striking feature, employs metallic composite-panel with zinc plate accents and glass. According to an HMC blog post on the building, “The angular, sloping windows emphasize the building entries and focus interior vistas obliquely toward view corridors.”

The building may seem non sequiter in the context of the stucco-clad, flat roofed ‘90s buildings that surround it on campus, but the design team deliberately and successfully positioned the building as the physical and cultural center for the campus community. The building seamlessly draws in the landscaping of the adjacent courtyard and provides opposing entries to the library for the elementary and middle schools.

Full-height glass brings natural light deep into the interior space, and a natural wood screen, locally crafted from FSC-certified wood, defines space and provides boundaries without compromising supervision.

HMC claims that the high-performance exterior building envelope, interior day lighting, natural ventilation, photovoltaic panels, upgraded mechanical systems, green-certified interior furnishings and finishes, water-saving plumbing fixtures, and siting and orientation to reduce solar heat gain are responsible for the building’s achievement of LEED Gold certification. (All images by David Wakely)


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