Steinberg Hart Northern California managing principal Katia McClain was recently featured in the Silicon Valley Business Journal in an interview about her new role as the Board President of the San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA).
“How can downtown translate that potential into reality?” For Katia McClain, the question of how downtown San Jose can realize its potential is of utmost importance. In order to help the city do so, the newly elected president of the San Jose Downtown Association Board has attempted to bring a sense of place to the city throughout her 10 years’ worth of work there (she continues to serve as a member of the SJDA Design Committee). New Steinberg Hart projects that are currently under construction, such as the Miro residential towers and the Modero San Pedro Square mixed-use project, aim to create a more active environment that brings residents within reach of more amenities and a greater social fabric.
“Architecture provides the framework, but it’s more than just style. It’s about the quality of those buildings downtown,” explained McClain when asked about San Jose’s architectural aesthetic. To Katia, the social and cultural changes that further development of San Jose’s downtown hope to bring are more intriguing than a new, uniform style. She shared that in crafting a sense of place, it is more important to consider what buildings will be used for and what purposes they will hold in a given environment than to consider how they might look. To adhere to this philosophy, McClain insists that one must fully immerse themselves in the city’s downtown district and experience the “little things that happen that contribute to urban life.”
Steinberg Hart projects Miro and Modera San Pedro Square are in-line with such philosophies. In the interview, McClain explains that both projects tie into the community and enhance the quality of life in downtown San Jose. The rooftop of the Miro towers will be utilized as a gathering space, and Modera resides in one of the most bustling areas of downtown. “It’s about the experience. It’s how are people going to see the building, how are they going to feel when they see a design?”
Read the full interview: New San Jose Downtown Association Board president is helping San Jose Find its Sense of Place