Palo Alto's cloud-computing giant VMware is planning to dramatically expand its Stanford Research Park property by adding six buildings and two garages to its "campus in the forest."
The company made headlines earlier this year when it took over a 1-million-square-foot property formerly occupied by Roche. The company unveiled its plans for its expanded campus Thursday in front of the Architectural Review Board.
Though the board didn't vote on the project, members found plenty to like about VMware's proposal, which seeks to create what it calls a "campus in the forest." The site already has 500 trees, including oaks and redwoods, and the company has indicated that it plans to maintain its perimeter of mature trees.
Company officials are now working with city staff to develop a landscape plan that is consistent with the city's requirements, city Planner Jason Nortz wrote in a report.
The company's expanded Hillview Avenue campus would feature groves, trails and a plaza called, "Town Square," featuring oaks, sycamores and fountains.
"Visitors arrive and they know they arrived at the new VMware," David Walker, the landscape architect for the project, told the board.
The company also plans to add four office buildings to supplement the 16 existing ones at the site. These buildings would be added during the first of three construction phases. The second phase would entail building two amenity facilities featuring gyms and food services. For the third phase, VMware plans to construct three new parking structures.
Though the company is still refining its design, board members said they liked what they saw during their preliminary look.
Board member Judith Wasserman called it "generally a quite wonderful and exciting project" and called the landscaping elements in it "very strong." Her colleague Alex Lew agreed, called the company's landscaping design "stunning" and "really beautiful."
Board Chair Clare Malone Prichard agreed and said the project "keeps on getting better."
The board expects to begin its formal review of the project early next year.