Located in Downtown, City Hall is the seat of the municipal government of San Jose. It was designed by Pritzker-Prize winning architect Richard Meier, who designed as well the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, The Hague City Hall, and other important buildings around the world. The City Hall consists of 18 stories, an iconic glass rotunda, and a city council chamber wing.
The City Hall consists of an 18-story tower (the mayor's office is located on the top floor), an iconic glass rotunda, and a city Council chamber wing that seats about 330 people. The Chamber is shaped like a lecture hall, with seating for the audience rising above the dais. A staircase leads to the chambers and an elevated walkway that connects the west wing with the rotunda and tower. This staircase, as well as the rotunda, is no longer a public entrance.
The City Hall's environmentally friendly design has received LEED Platinum certification. The tower's architecture includes high ceilings, a thin floor plan, and side elevator shafts in order to reduce artificial lighting costs and take advantage of about 300 days of sun. Also, a brise soleil on the tower provides shade during the summer months, reducing the costs of air conditioning. The building is stabilized by full-height, concrete shear walls, which are likened to bookends. They are connected to a steel moment-resisting frame across the west and east sides.
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