Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 19-0724   
Type: Study Session Status: Agenda Ready
Meeting Body: Planning Commission
On agenda: 7/22/2019
Title: City Hall Schematic Design Presentation for Comment and Input
Attachments: 1. City Hall Renderings, 2. EOC Renderings, 3. Staff Presentation 20190722 (19-0724)





City Hall Schematic Design Presentation for Comment and Input



On September 25, 2018 Council adopted a resolution to:

                     Certify the EIR;

                     Adopt the Civic Center Master Plan; and,

                     Directed City Staff to proceed with design for a Net Zero Energy City Hall Building (RTC No. 18-0799).

On December 4, 2018, Council voted to award the Phase 1 contract for design to SmithGroup (RTC 18-1008).

Phase I comprises the following building and site components:

                     A new City Hall building which locates staff in the South Annex, Annex, and Sunnyvale Office Complex in one building;

                     An addition to the Department of Public Safety Building, housing an emergency operations center (EOC);

                     Renovation of portions of the Public Safety Building supporting the current needs and technical functions of the Public Safety Officers; and,

                     Demolition of the existing City Hall and Office Center and creation of a six-acre Civic Park




City Staff will present the Civic Center Schematic Design to the Planning Commission for discussion and comment at a Study Session. Renderings and a brief description of the design has been provided ahead of the meeting for review.

City Hall

Carrying the vision of the Master Plan, a four-story, 119,000 square-foot City Hall will be located near the corner of West Olive Avenue and South Mathilda Avenue. The new City Hall will replace the existing city hall which is in several single-story buildings on site and thus consolidating numerous City services into a central, easy-to-access location and will free up room on the campus for more usable open space. The building will be zero net energy as well as being a LEED Platinum-certified building.

The Master Plan as approved by Council envisioned a partially wood clad building which maximizes natural light with walls of windows and a transparent canopy to accentuate the front entrance (a “treehouse” design).  The schematic design fulfills this vision, and seeks to mimic the theme of nature within the building and throughout the campus.  Since any exterior wood cladding would require continuous maintenance, it would not be ideal material for a civic building. To keep the theme of treehouse, mass timber can be used for the interior mullion of the façade so that the warmth of the wood can be read from both inside and outside the building without any maintenance issue.

As part of the Master Plan, a new south plaza will be created at the current location of the City Hall. This new plaza will be an extension of the new green space being developed on the north campus. The new City Hall will be situated in the middle of the two plaza areas and will serve as the key connection point.  The middle section of the City Hall building was configured to provide transparency and connection between the north and south plaza areas.  The ground floor lobby space will become an extension of the outdoor space, blurring the boundary between interior and exterior. A skylight above the central staircase will allow filtered light to penetrate the lobby space.

Two types of photovoltaic panels will be utilized on the building.  Panels overhanging the building are transparent, allowing views of the sky from down below.  Over the roofing areas, panels are opaque, providing high efficiency solar gain.

Department of Public Safety Building

A two-story, 12,946-square-foot addition will be constructed adjacent to the existing Department of Public Safety (DPS) Headquarters building. The planned addition will provide dedicated space for an Emergency Operations Center and additional space for the crime lab, briefing room, evidence storage and locker rooms.

The design of the new DPS addition is contemporary with simple form. The material palette relates to the existing building and provide the security necessary for the work being performed inside.

The shape of the building is rectangular in nature and is connected to the existing building with a glass corridor. Terracotta rainscreen system is used for the exterior cladding material to work in harmony with the brick façade of the exiting Public Safety Building.

A concrete planter is used as a barrier on the north and east façade to prevent cars from accidentally hitting the building. A new equipment yard housing the emergency generator will be located along South Pastoria Avenue and will be disguised by green screens mounted on block walls to create a pleasant backdrop for pedestrians.

Project Site

The landscape architecture for Phase 1 of the Civic Center Master Plan, is composed of roughly 6 acres of open space around the new City Hall, as well as its on-structure gardens and outdoor rooms, and the site work around the new DPS addition. The planting for this new open space will primarily be native species, with irrigation by zone.

Anticipated Outcome

The goal of the meeting is to allow the Planning Commission to review the project, ask questions, and provide comments and input for the City Council consideration. The focus of the discussion is to be on site planning and architecture.



Prepared by: Allison Boyer, Assistant City Engineer

Reviewed by: Jennifer Ng, Assistant Director of Public Works

Approved by: Chip Taylor, Director of Public Works



1.  City Hall Renderings

2.  EOC Renderings