Folding glass walls revitalize student center

March 20, 2013 |

Single-glazed storefronts in the student center at Californias West Valley College were replaced with aluminum-framed, thermally broken windows from NanaWall in a bronze finish that emulates the look of the original building. Photo: NanaWall Systems Inc.

West Valley College, Saratoga, Calif., serves more than ten thousand students on the western edge of Silicon Valley, 50 miles south of San Francisco. Its student center dates to the early 1970s—concrete construction, limited visibility to the outdoors, not much flexibility to its spaces, and a hard-to-follow circulation plan. To add to the problem, a new building cut off two nearby plazas from each other, rendering them largely unused.

The college brought in BFGC-IBI Group, San Luis Obispo, Calif., to address these problems. The design firm employed folding glass wall partitions (in this case, the NanaWall SL70 Folding System) to replace the single-glazed storefront windows. One of the installations links the two previously separated plaza spaces, creating a new circulation artery and breathing new life into the plazas.

Another installation in the student center has a fully operable wall of glass, which enables the college to rent the space for weddings and parties, providing a new source of revenue. An interior partition installation enhanced visibility between previously obscured areas of the student center.

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