Urban Confluence Competition

San Jose / United States / 2020

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Limited by the height of 200ft, the project for an Icon had to be developed horizontally in order to achieve an impactful stance. The west side of the lot was chosen for its proximity to the SAP center and the urban tissue. However the project proposes the creation on the east side of an area with restaurants, bars and shops that will have a privileged view on the Icon and will in addition activate the entire site.


The project responds to the site, to its nature, to its amenities and to the wider context. The existing palms on Santa Clara St are preserved and are merged as a starting point for the Icon. The Five Skaters are integrated in the design as a focal point of the Piazza. The Children’s Carousel and the Tot Lot & Playground are relocated off-site, but the majority of the existing trees are preserved under the Icon. On the north side of the lot the Icon achieves its height of 200ft with the panoramic tower.


Inspired by the technological gold rush of our era, the innovative design approach strives for a timeless elegance. Seen from far away, the Icon looks like a solid block of beautiful curved shapes, but as the observer approaches the sculpture it starts dematerializing, it shows through its complexity and the ever changing silhouette. It’s never the same from 2 angles. What at some point looked like a forest of piles, creates disbelief once inside where a forest of trees awaits the spectator, in a space that is shaped like a gothic cathedral where gatherings, temporary markets and open theatres can take place.


The piles take inspiration from the microprocessors. Golden spikes rigorously organized in a grid. But the shape of the Icon is inspired by data flow and waves and contrasts the rigid grid with sinuous, elegant, bold and imaginative curved lines. This contrast creates something special, the union of technology and art, of robotic and biological, of certain and surprise. The culmination of the form is the 360° Viewing Bubble.


The gold finish of the Icon is an eye catcher. At night it reflects its natural surrounding and the lights of the city. With little passive lighting it is visible and distinctive from far away but without glowing arrogantly and shouting its presence.


The Icon reflects its surrounding and its era, with a golden shine of positivity and prosperity.

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    Limited by the height of 200ft, the project for an Icon had to be developed horizontally in order to achieve an impactful stance. The west side of the lot was chosen for its proximity to the SAP center and the urban tissue. However the project proposes the creation on the east side of an area with restaurants, bars and shops that will have a privileged view on the Icon and will in addition activate the entire site. The project responds to the site, to its nature, to its amenities and to the...

    Project details
    • Year 2020
    • Status Competition works
    • Type Parks, Public Gardens / Public Squares / Landscape/territorial planning / Multi-purpose Cultural Centres / Urban Renewal / Monuments
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