West Valley College Visual Arts Building

Saratoga, CA

West Valley College’s new Visual Arts Building is all about transparency, collaboration and community. The project is the first phase of a visionary master plan developed by TLCD Architecture and Mark Cavagnero Associates that will transform this quadrant of campus into a vibrant hub for the arts.

A New Gateway for the Campus

The building steps up the existing hillside with a dramatic double height gallery space that opens onto a plaza shared with the theater lobby. This shared space will foster engagement and multi-disciplinary collaboration among the diverse mix of artists, designers, musicians and actors who attend West Valley’s Cilker School of Art and Design.

Five large, light filled art studios are organized around a generous courtyard with a grand, heritage oak tree. The studios offer specialized instruction in painting, digital media, sculpture and ceramics. A robust metal and woodworking machine shop, welding facilities and a large, outdoor work yard with bronze casting capability expand the arts program.


A Courtyard Building Nestled Among the Oaks and Redwoods
Indoor-Outdoor Art Studios

Each space in the building is bathed in natural light and has a strong indoor/outdoor connection – fostering greater connection to the beautiful, wooded surroundings. Glass doors and sliding glass curtain walls allow for art and artists to spill out from the studios into the shared courtyard space.

Creative Expression on Display

The building includes a stunning, double-height gallery space – intended to showcase traditional 2D and 3D artwork as well as new media installation and performance art – and a flexible studio that can double as a public meeting room, expanded gallery or collaborative project space.