San Jose’s Montgomery Hotel Has New Design Elements

San Jose, Montgomery Hotel, Silicon Valley, Bay Area, TCA Architects

San Jose, Montgomery Hotel, Silicon Valley, Bay Area, TCA Architects

The New 24-Story Tower Addition Pays Homage to the 1911 Landmark Former Montgomery Hotel While Preparing it for a Future on San Jose Skyline.

(San Jose, CA – December 15, 2016) – Following the overwhelmingly positive response to the firm’s initial designs, TCA Architects’ updated design for the Tribute Hotel Tower expansion of the historical Montgomery Hotel brings a complementary yet modern high-rise stature to the San Jose skyline, announced Paul Adamson, FAIA, LEED AP and Hospitality Studio Director with TCA. Careful to not overpower the smaller historical landmark, the design for the new 24-story tower features a 5-story glass atrium that serves to bridge the history of the original structure with the modernity of the new. While the Montgomery Hotel currently operates as a Four-Points by Sheraton, the combined structures are expected to operate as a single hotel under the Starwood Brand, Tribute, a moniker reserved for historical properties, upon completion in 2019.

Listed on the California Register of Historic Places, the former Montgomery Hotel was originally located at the corner of S. 1st Street and Paseo de San Antonio. However, the landmark had fallen into disrepair and in 2000, was moved in its entirety to its present location about 185-feet south on 1st Street in an effort to preserve the structure and make way for the expansion of the neighboring Fairmont Hotel addition. The move, part of a $25.5 million restoration and renovation by then owners DivcoWest and Epicus Development, was the 9th heaviest building ever moved at the time. The Hotel reopened in 2004 as an historical boutique hotel under the Joie de Vivre brand.

Khanna Enterprises, III, LLC of Santa Ana, CA acquired the property in 2008 and began looking for the best way to maximize its long term value and increase its presence on the San Jose skyline. In 2015, Khanna engaged TCA Architects to create a solution utilizing a vacant 50’-wide space on the hotel lot. TCA, leveraging its historical preservation experience, immediately recognized a key site condition that would guide the rest of the design process.

Having previously been located on a corner, The Montgomery featured both a primary contributing façade (entry) and secondary contributing façade, with the secondary entry opening directly out to the existing open space. The new structure, whatever shape it eventually would take, could provide a natural transition into the historic structure. But first, there was one significant aspect of the open space that had to be overcome – its narrow width. At only 50’ wide, it was at least 10’ short of what is considered to be a minimum width for a modern hotel featuring a double loaded corridor, where there is a central hallway with guest rooms on either side.

After working with leading engineering firm Arup, TCA’s design team devised a unique solution that would honor the existing building while incorporating an adjacent 24-story tower with a modern double loaded corridor floor plate to accommodate an additional 200 or more guest rooms. The new tower would rise next to the existing structure, and upon reaching its roofline, the tower would then step out, cantilevering an additional 20’ over the existing building. Diagonal support ‘Straps’ have been incorporated into the window lines every three floors, offsetting the cantilevered weight.

The space between the new tower and the existing building will be spanned with a glass wall at both ends – a ‘hyphen’ in historic preservation vernacular, enclosing the space between the structures as a new 5-story atrium lobby. This new common lobby provides the benefit of admitting light into the side windows of the historic building, while enabling views of the historic façade from the street.

The architects have been careful to temper the new design, acknowledging the importance of the existing building. To mitigate the impact of the scale of the new tower, the upper floors are set back from the primary façade of The Montgomery, preserving the historic structure’s place on the street-scape. Balconies on the tower’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors serve as an architectural gesture of affinity with balconies on the historical structure.

Additional design cues include utilizing pale yellow limestone as the primary exterior material to be sympathetic to the Montgomery’s aged plaster, and horizontal sun-shades provide a measure of solidity to the otherwise mostly-glass façade facing the existing building. The resultant design is a bold approach, combining an uncompromisingly modern expression that is visually striking, yet consistent with the prevailing philosophy of historic preservation.

The Tribute owners are currently awaiting approval from San Jose’s historic preservation department and a site development permit from the Planning Department.

About TCA Architects
Founded in 1993, TCA Architects specializes in the planning and design of next generation, high density, multifamily housing and signature hospitality developments – taking pride in helping shape quality living environments for everyone. The firm’s collaborative approach and industry leading technological expertise have resulted in award-winning, sustainable projects that respect our communities and the environment. With studios in Irvine, Los Angeles and Oakland California, TCA has been recognized for their industry leading expertise in master planning and design for a variety of multifamily, hospitality and mixed-use product. With more than 20,000 residences currently in development, TCA Architects is one of California’s fastest growing architectural firms. For more information on TCA, its design talent and current projects, visit

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