Form4 Architecture Coalesces Organic, Elegant Form With Approachable Scale

Construction Begins on Poetic Technology Campus in Silicon Valley

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Folded Wings, designed by Form4 Architecture, was named for the angular canopies that adorn its exterior. Image courtesy of Form4 Architecture. Click here for high-resolution images.

PALO ALTO, CA: Construction has begun on Form4 Architecture’s Folded Wings, a 177,000-square-foot spec office campus in the global technology epicenter of Palo Alto, CA.  The design team, which included developer Sand Hill Property Company, created an urban plaza on the 10-acre site that was welcoming to pedestrian traffic and visitors.  Intended for a large tech company, the project’s overall appearance maintains an approachable scale not often found in technology campuses in the area.  Folded Wings, along with two other projects by the architecture firm, won The Chicago Athenaeum’s 2018 Green Good Design Award in the Green Architecture category.  Folded Wings is scheduled for completion in January 2020.

“We are advocates for architecture that is artful and poetic while remaining respectful of its community,” says John Marx, AIA, Chief Artistic Officer of Form4 Architecture.  “As with all of our work, we designed Folded Wings to reflect a humane modernism at a pedestrian scale.”

The project, which features a recurring folding theme throughout, has been named for the angular canopies that adorn its exterior.  Upon arrival from the parking garage, visitors encounter a folded roof and façade evocative of a butterfly’s organic form.  These folds add texture and visual interest around the two-story building’s exterior.  A series of angled roofs breaks the scale of the campus into visually cohesive units that, when viewed together, add richness and variety to the massing.

The structure’s roofs extend over the floors beneath, shielding direct light from above.  Overhangs, along with cost-effective solar control methods, allow for a copious amount of glass to be used while still maintaining the building’s energy-efficient design.  Echoing the butterfly canopy that signals access to two levels of below-grade parking, a glass version featuring specialized fittings and a canted column marks the main entrance to the building.  Bike and pedestrian paths, photovoltaic panels, and the building’s proximity to several public transportation options make it a sustainable and responsible addition to the community.

Form4 Architecture believes architecture is the art of giving form to ideas.  The award-winning firm specializes in creating environments, whether for tech offices, mixed-use developments, or residences, that respond as equally to the topography of a site as they do to the people they serve.  Winner of the 2017 American Prize for Architecture, Form4 creates formal expressions that are not only poetically moving and conceptually thoughtful, but also reflective of the client’s values and goals.  As collaborative partners in the design process, the principals of Form4 Architecture—Robert J. Giannini, John Marx, AIA, Paul Ferro, AIA, and James Tefend—are personally involved with every project from concept to completion, bringing the collective wealth of years of expertise and knowledge to each client’s vision.  Since 1998, the firm has built a rich portfolio of award-winning work for national and international clients within diverse market sectors.

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