SJSU Museum of Art

This new museum for San Jose State University is located in the heart of an urban campus, and embraced by the existing art building. It unifies a range of activities and engages its environment while creating a haven where art and education can thrive.

Sited along the 9th Street Paseo, the museum is inserted into a courtyard of gardens divided by patios that is a metaphor for the Silicon Valley. The gardens depict the plains and mountains of the silicon valley, while the pavement and low walls help to recreate the tense relationship that exists between the infrastructures that grid the valley, and the valley itself.

The landscape is further abstracted in the facades of the museum. The geometry of our technology is contrasted with the more complex geometry of nature as expressed in the stainless steel louvers that wrap the building. The alluvial geometry of these louvers enlivens the facades and create an ever-changing play of light and shadow.

The exterior of the museum is simplified by covering both windows and walls in this fabric of louvers. Upon close approach, the monolithic appearance of the louvers gives way to a glassy openness. The louvers allow views in and out, while also providing energy conserving sun shading.


  • San José, California


  • Competition


  • Honorable Mention


  • Claudette Bleijenberg


  • 2003