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Breeze of Innovation Finalist in Urban Confluence Design Competition

The Urban Confluence Silicon Valley competition seeks for a design that could be built at the “confluence” of the Guadalupe River and Los Gatos Creek in downtown San Jose.

The competition is a project of not-for-profit San Jose Light Tower Corporation, which formed in 2017 with the goal of delivering “an artistic and iconic” structure inspired by the San Jose electric light tower, a pioneering experiment in electricity-powered municipal lighting built in 1881.


The brief for the competition was not to recreate the light tower – or even to create a light tower at all – but to develop designs that “respect the natural environment and embrace the extraordinary spirit of Silicon Valley innovation.”


Breeze of Innovation, designed by SMAR Architecture Studio, which has an office in Perth, Australia as well as in Spain and Lithuania, was announced as one of the three finalists on 18 September. MBH was brought on board as Architect of Record to assist with technical documents for Phase 2 of the competition.


This Breeze of Innovation does not pretend to invent a new technology, its purpose is to create awareness and send a positive message to future generations, that a clean planet is possible... The goal is to make the energy harvesting obvious and visible, in order to trigger, to change perception, to question reality… to inspire. Thanks to a very simple technical system*, the tip of the rods will light up only when it is windy. In this way, people could directly perceive that it is the wind that creates the lighting, at no cost.


The winning design is to be announced in March 2021


The Breeze of Innovation's full submission can be found on the Urban Confluence site.