School of Arts and Culture, La Placita

City: San Jose
Size: 10,500 square feet
Service: Conceptual Design
Client: The School of Arts and Culture
Project Types: Mixed-Use/Multi-Family, Civic 

This community revitalization project has a modern design with a traditional feel

This multi-phased project for the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza is part of a redevelopment effort expected to revitalize this East San Jose neighborhood. Design inspiration came from TOPA Architecture’s extensive outreach to the local community to engage them in the design process. An emphasis was placed on the representation of local culture, resulting in a design utilizing a Mexican color palette and scaling the building mass into micro-components creating a “small town” feel.  

A 6,700 square-foot extension of the school into long-time vacant retail space for a 200-seat Black Box theater and cafe. The remodel is expected to provide local jobs and a place for social and cultural activities. The remaining building is being renovated for Gardner Healthcare Services.   

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What our customers are saying

Scott Knies

Our staff and partners enjoyed working with Ramiro and his team, finding them easy to communicate with, open to trying new things, and responsive to feedback from all of the project participants. Topa is a reliable, flexible, and community-minded firm that helped downtown San Jose realize a wonderful project.

Scott Knies, CEO
San Jose Downtown Association

Father Joe Kim

TOPA has gone way beyond my expectations in the quality, response, and most importantly execution. They are a team-minded group and have been great to work with contractors and clients alike. If you want to get anything done in a timely manner that involves permits, go with TOPA.

Father Joe Kim, Pastor
Saint John Vianney Parish + School

Adam Tafralis

Working with TOPA has been an excellent experience. TOPA puts a great level of detail into being a great partner throughout the entire process from start to finish. TOPA’s experienced team consistently worked with great success through the ever changing construction development, permitting and design stages.

Adam Tafralis, Business Development Specialist
South Bay Construction

Marie Millares

I had the pleasure of working with Topa Architecture on private and public property projects that serve surrounding communities. They had a mindful, informative and timely approach to navigating the City approvals process and worked with our team to fit within our budget and timeline. They patiently collaborated with us and our contractors to answer questions, resolve issues and transform our wish list into thoughtful spatial solutions for meaningful interaction in public space.

Marie Millares, Facility Director

Javier Canales

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Parisa, Geno, Jorge & Ramiro. We went to TOPA Architecture because of their reputation for time efficiency, great work quality, and excellent communication. Jorge and his team have helped us stay on schedule with our ongoing complex and fast-paced projects.

Javier Canales, Facilities Project Manager
Lucid Motors

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