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SAMSUNG San Jose, California

A top-tier innovator embraces urban transformation


Samsung Semiconductor


NBBJ Architects

Land Use Program

  • 1.1 million square feet of office space in two connected 10-story towers, with active uses on the ground floor

  • buildings are oriented to the street and adjacent light rail

  • parking structure at the rear of the site

  • open courtyard and landscaped grounds


When Samsung Semiconductor was looking to expand its San Jose headquarters, the company and its design team embraced the city’s vision of urban transformation. North San Jose — the city’s tech employment center — is slated for a denser, more walkable future, but questions remain about the market’s willingness to embrace something other than low-slung tilt-up buildings surrounded by surface parking. The new headquarters, secured with considerable public effort and investment, is rising as a symbol of the company’s innovative culture and future orientation.

Lessons for Walkability

  • Tech employers can go vertical, engage the street and orient buildings toward transit.
  • Great design makes a competitive statement and helps attract talent.
  • Employers that develop their own land can push ahead of the conservative speculative market.

 Images courtesy NBBJ