|SAN JOSE CITY
San Jose City College faced a budget dilemma: its cosmetology
program is in high demand and looking for a larger home, but neither
a location nor a budget for it has been identified in the master
plan. Meanwhile, decision makers are convinced that the old student
union building, a 1950’s era pre-cast concrete building,
must be demolished due to the difficulty of upgrading it structurally
and adapting to other uses.
Coming late into this process, AEDIS immediately suggested to
the client that the old student union be saved and converted to
house the cosmetology program. AEDIS prepared space planning schemes
and commissioned structural studies to show that the idea is not
only feasible, but much less expensive than building a new structure.
The client approved this approach, and the final program included
an additional component, the reprographics department.
Cosmetology facilities occupy the majority of the converted structure,
with the public lobby and cosmetology classrooms on the first floor
while esthetician labs and faculty offices are on the second story.
A connected one-story wing houses the reprographics department.
Most of the exterior building shell is retained, except that the
2 walls facing the entrance courtyard are replaced with new window
walls to create transparency and showcase the activities inside
Numerous technical challenges are resolved during the design process.
The building needs to be lighter to avoid triggering a mandatory
seismic upgrade; the floor to floor height is only 10’-2”,
making the fitting of HVAC ducts, conduits and lights extremely
challenging. A full size mock up of the ceiling-roof assembly is
built on-site prior to actual construction.
“AEDIS is very good at building their client relationships. They value their clients and are very service-oriented. They don’t nit-pick me on fees. I just negotiated an increase in fee with Thang because I realized we added some scope of work. But many architects nit-pick their fees and since we’re a public agency that doesn’t have a lot of resources, that is crucial. That is one area I like about AEDIS – they are receptive to negotiation. I also feel relaxed and at ease with them. I trust their abilities.”
San Jose Evergreen Community College District