Aspect Communications World Headquarters San Jose, California


The goal of this corporate headquarters expansion in Silicon Valley was transformation—the renewal of a business and the concurrent conversion of a nondescript office building into a vibrant, connected community.

At the heart of the design is a light-filled central courtyard that connects the new, v-shaped building with the existing structure. Delicately balancing intimacy and openness, the design offers an expansive interpretation of the California mission cloister while affirming a revitalized relationship between building and landscape in this benevolent climate. The tree-filled courtyard is a place for outdoor living, informal meetings and formal gatherings.

The building’s narrow footprint and lofty proportions are designed to flexibly accommodate both open and private environments. This approach allows long-term adaptability as well, enabling the office building to become housing in the future. Through the use of healthy materials and access to daylight, views, and abundant fresh air, the design broadly seeks to create an effective workplace, promoting the occupants’ health and well-being. Silicon Valley’s first under-floor displacement ventilation system provides fresh air directly to each worker’s breathing zone, with individual control. This project provides a vision of an ecologically intelligent future befitting of Silicon Valley’s history of innovation.


Offices, corporate training center, employee amenities


110,000 square feet


Completed September 2001


William McDonough + Partners, Design Architect
Nova Partners, Developer
Form4 Architects, Architect of Record
DPR Construction, Contractor
Middlebrook + Louie, Structural Engineer
Crutchfield Mechanical, Inc, Mechanical Engineer
Frank Electric, Electrical Engineer
Nelson Byrd Woltz, Landscape Architect
April Philips Design Works, Landscape Architect of Record


AIA DC Award of Excellence, 2003

AIA DC Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design, 2003