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San Jose Evergreen Valley College Student Services building rendering, paneled white wrap facade over floor to ceiling windows
San Jose Evergreen Valley College

Student Services Welcomes the Community to Campus

Project Location

San Jose, CA


Evergreen Valley College


72,000 SF


Architecture, interior design, and information technology services

Evergreen Valley College Student Services Complex Building sets a new standard of architecture for the campus and redefines the college brand. The new gateway student services structure is comprised of two wings connected by a bridge. The design is inspired by the hills surrounding San Jose and the flora of the Bay Area. Other drivers include natural outdoor circulation pattens, solar orientation, and maximizing the views toward and away from the structure.

The building establishes a new visual identity for the campus and is the primary entry. The curved massing contrasts with vertical fins that bring tonal texture to the façade and provide shade from the western sun. A parametric canopy floats above the plaza that glows at night and highlights the entry for guests as they travel along the new entry road.  A social stair in the main student services lobby serves as the main wayfinding element for students entering the building for the first time.

Founded in 1975 as part of the California Community College System, Evergreen Valley College was voted 2021’s Best College for an Associate Degree and is one of the Top 20 Best Community Colleges in the U.S. (according to Wallet Hub, Newsweek and PayScale).

Culturally Inspired Design

The building will bring a visual identity to the campus by way of a new entry drive that leads to a student services building that will serve as the primary gateway to campus.

Community Connection

Gateway Building

As a gateway building for Evergreen Valley College, the Student Services Complex Building celebrates the intersection of a diverse campus community. The curved and porous form recalls the soft curves and sharp edges of local flora and embraces a large plaza that welcomes everyone from the new entry road and parking being built concurrently. The all-glass façade and large canopy create a highly visible entrance and allows the community to read the multi-lingual message of “Welcome” on the double height ‘Welcome Wall’ just inside. Within the building itself, the program includes elements such as non-gendered restrooms, meditation rooms, and a sensitivity to layering public-to-private program so the experience is both welcoming and inclusive to the diverse population it’s serving.

View of curved 2 story building from above across parking lot. Building bridges over center walkway between 2 1st floor sections

Aerial view of building and new entry road.

Student Services

Celebrating Intersections

The Student Services Complex Building brings together, under one roof, the critical services students need from the first day of their academic career, to the day before graduation, and every day in between. The layout incorporates intuitive wayfinding for new students as well as a streamlined process for returning students. Services such as Financial Aid, Admissions and Records, Health & Wellness, along with the Veterans program, are located on Level 1 while services such Counseling and Student Resources are on Level 2. The Complex Building also houses several administrative offices such as the Vice President of Administrative Services, the Vice Presidents of Academic and Student Affairs, and the Office of the President. These functions are in another wing that is accessed from a separate exterior entry or by using the connecting Level 2 bridge with the oculus skylight feature.

Intuitive Wayfinding

Navigating the Space

Intuitive wayfinding is an important driver of design decisions for the Student Services Complex Building. The orientation to the entry road approach and sweeping canopy give a natural sense of hierarchy to the Student Services wing over the Administration wing, allowing students to naturally gravitate to the resources they may be seeking. The Oculus as a feature of the design is an easily referenced moment of arrival onto campus where large events will be held.
Within the Student Services building, the lobby is framed by a series of visual ques and resources to help students find their way and feel welcomed to occupy the spaces designed for them. The “Welcome Wall” multi-lingual graphics say “Welcome” and “Hello” in the diverse languages most represented on campus. The Social Stair and varied lounge seating options invite them to sit and stay. For students seeking guidance, the Information Desk is located just inside the doors and is highlighted by a large chandelier. From this desk, the color and large graphics used to distinguish the department entries are easily seen and give options for how the student and staff communicate about where they need to go.

Featured Video
Exploring the New Student Services Complex in Detail

Take a captivating tour of Evergreen Valley College’s New Student Services Complex with this immersive fly-through video, where innovative design meets the natural beauty of San Jose’s surroundings.

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