Source: The Hills at Vallco

Architect Rafael Viñoly plans to revamp the town centre in California’s Cupertino with a new downtown hub, featuring the world’s largest green roof.

The $3 billion development, if approved, will replace an existing, dilapidated shopping mall with shops, restaurants and offices – topped with a 30-acre park and nature reserve.

Called The Hills at Vallco, the project would also provide 680 private apartments, 80 affordable homes and 40 flats for the elderly.

The Hills at Vallco
Source: The Hills at Vallco

‘The Hills at Vallco reinforces Cupertino’s position as the social, economic, technology and architectural centre of Silicon Valley,’ says Reeds Moulds, managing director of developer Sand Hill Property Company.

‘What we heard from the community and have done is to keep and integrate the most popular entertainment venues and uses like AMC Theaters, bowling, ice skating, fitness and banquet facilities into a true downtown that Cupertino residents have always wanted, where people can shop, dine, live, work, learn and play.’

Rafael Viñoly Architects – designers of London’s ‘Walkie Talkie’, recently voted Britain’s worst new building – are working with Olin Landscape Architects on the design of the proposed rooftop park, which includes a 3.8-mile jogging track, vineyards, an amphitheatre and children’s play areas.

The Hills at Vallco
Source: The Hills at Vallco

The green roof will offer far-reaching views of the surrounding landscape, with sites such as Apple’s upcoming ring-shaped campus – designed by architect Norman Foster – in the vicinity.

Sand Hill Property Company will submit development plans to authorities in the coming weeks, and the project could go before the city’s planning commission and council by summer 2016.

Viñoly has a history of setting architectural records – he also designed 432 Park Avenue, currently the tallest residential tower in the western hemisphere.

Tomo is a London-based writer covering design and architecture. He contributes to The Spaces.

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