Premium Partners

Mayfair Community Center

San Jose, Calif.
Construction Cost: $14.7 million
Area / Square Feet: 21,000
Occupancy Date: January 2009

The new Mayfair Community Center, located in a renovated four-acre park, is bordered on one side by a restored creek, and on the other by active community gardens. The center has become the true heart of this primarily Latino neighborhood, with a vibrant life of its own.

The principal goal for the project was to create an inviting and welcoming center that provides a variety of flexible indoor and outdoor spaces to house a broad range of educational, recreational, social and cultural programs. The center includes a large, dividable community banquet room, as well as classroom and meeting spaces, a fitness center, a dance studio, a computer lab and a kids’ club. Site improvements include a new recreational pool and sprayground, picnic areas, a tot lot and a skate park.

The community voiced a preference for a design that would represent its primarily Mexican-American heritage. These traditions became central to the development of the massing, materials and articulation of the new building. A notable tradition of this type of architecture is open but covered walkways around sheltered courtyard spaces, which became the organizing principle for the building, while also helping attain the city’s goal of sustainability.

A public artist, Fernanda d’Agostino, worked with the design team to develop a series of pieces that pay respect to users’ heritage and neighborhood traditions. The work includes silkscreened glass panels in the main lobby, three carved sculptures in the internal courtyard, a series of niches with videos, cast glass and bronze pieces, and photographic images located in the central tower.