Winning design symbolizes people standing and working together
March 25, 2021, San José, CA – Urban Confluence Silicon Valley announced that Breeze of Innovation, designed by Fernando Jerez and Belén Pérez de Juan of SMAR Architecture Studio, has been named winner of the worldwide open ideas competition for an iconic landmark in Silicon Valley. The competition jury, comprised of local, national, and international design and place-making experts, selected the winner from an impressive 963 submissions from 72 countries on six continents. Located at Arena Green at Guadalupe Park and Gardens in San José, the project is slated to go before the San José City Council in May 2021 for approval of the winning design.
“Thank you to the entire Urban Confluence team for their extraordinary passion, perseverance, and good work, and for presenting the opportunity to our community to embrace an iconic civic monument in the Breeze of Innovation," said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Future generations will never know the work they did, but they will enjoy this beautiful symbol of our past and future.”
Intended to sway in the wind, the winning design utilizes the natural movement of 500 dynamic rods to create a dramatic visual effect while generating enough power to light the structure, giving it a strong presence both day and night. Breeze of Innovation envisions a conical void within a 200-foot tower, creating a unique vertical space, multiple levels of walkways, and a dramatic viewing platform offering incredible 360-degree views from the top of the structure. The design will also incorporate an exhibition space and room for a café, among other features meant to inspire interaction and activation of the site and surroundings.
“Silicon Valley is not about replicating the past; it’s about shaping the future. Our goal from the beginning was to capture the ever-changing magic of Silicon Valley while also creating a deep connection with the San José community,” said designer Fernando Jerez. “This is why we came up with the idea of designing a dynamic landmark, one that is alive, moving with the wind and light, a magical space that includes a tribute to the San José Electric Light Tower of 1881. We want visitors to enjoy a unique experience on their ascent, connecting with the memory of the Valley while dreaming about its future possibilities.”
“We are extremely excited to announce Breeze of Innovation as the winner of our design competition,” says Jon Ball, Board Chair of Urban Confluence Silicon Valley. “This entry stood out because of its elegant and sophisticated visual style, representing Silicon Valley through vibrant motion and singular grace on an imposing scale. A living landmark, this design is destined to have a positive and profound impact on our community.”
The project has raised more than $2.5 million to date with fundraising efforts ongoing. To learn more or donate to the project, please visit http://www.urbanconfluencesiliconvalley.org/.
About Urban Confluence Silicon Valley Urban Confluence Silicon Valley, a project of San José Light Tower Corporation, envisions an impressive symbolic structure appropriate for the unique region that is recognized as the global center of innovation. This internationally respected icon will offer a must-see place of hope, healing, and human connection, creating a compelling world-class experience for tourists and the local community. This bold project will be a destination landmark providing a major enhancement to downtown San José and an important catalyst for Silicon Valley culture and long-term regional economic development. To learn more about this exciting journey from the past to the future for America's tenth largest city, or to get involved, visit http://www.urbanconfluencesiliconvalley.org/.
SMAR Architecture Studio, founded by University of Western Australia Professor Fernando Jerez (PhD MArch ETSAM) in 2009 and co-directed by Belén Pérez de Juan, is an awarded architectural practice with offices in Australia, Spain, and Lithuania. SMAR Architecture Studio
Press release can be viewed here.