San Jose State University Museum of Art & Design

San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

This 46,000 square foot museum is elevated to allow the galleries to be lit naturally, and modulated by mechanical louvers that can also block light out if necessary. The space of the gallery is a large, flexible volume that can be curated in innumerable ways to meet the needs of the university’s emerging collection. The floating galleries become a campus icon, orienting visitors within the campus and engaging the public. The main entry is at the top of a grand stair that doubles as a casual gathering space and an amphitheater that activates the adjacent Ninth Street Mall. As one walks through the shadow cast by the hovering galleries above, a shaft of light from an oculus set in to the shell of the building acts as a beacon of light to visitors during shows and major events.