Façade Revamps Old San Jose Office Building

May 8, 2019

Designers customized a glass façade for San Jose’s 111 Market Square to attract new tenants.

San Jose, Calif.
© Jeff Peters, Vantage Point Photography

Modulus Architects customized a second-skin glass façade for 111 Market Square; the back-lit decorative glass cladding is a key element in the upgrade of two 1960’s Class B office towers into Class A commercial real estate assets.


Having previously worked with Bendheim’s ventilated glass façade systems on another commercial retrofit in San Jose, the architects and developers decided to use decorative glass to achieve the sought-after elegance and sophistication.

Bendheim’s jewel-like glass cladding changes the way the towers “read,” making them appear lighter and more sophisticated, without requiring expensive modifications to the building mass and window lines. The backlit glass system covers major areas of the exterior walls and creates new overhangs and decorative fins. The translucent white laminated panels of glass reach sizes up to 4 ft. × 6 ft. The architects specified low-iron glass to create a cleaner look that reads whiter, lighter and more modern. Its luminous aesthetic highlights the building.

According to Modulus, the decorative glass façade elements successfully changed the perception of the property, and are expected to deliver substantial return on investment. “The difference in the rent revenues between a Class A and B building is substantial. Clients recognize the value of the design, because they see it on multiple fronts—from aesthetic to monetary payback,”  said David Fenster, Modulus lead architect. 

Bendheim’s technical design team collaborated closely with the architects, developers and installers to meet structural, aesthetic and budget goals. The glass façade system is used in several different ways on the project, including a creative staggered panel layout that adds visual complexity, while maintaining a straightforward structural design.