San Jose Tower of Light

The tower is a shining beacon of light supported by a gossamer-thin structure. It is also a signal of great things to come, and its construction symbolizes the valley’s ideological advancement. A projective work that is truly dedicated to the public, the tower acts as a model for the transforming city. Its ecological stance is precedent setting – demonstrating strategic site selection, energy production and sensitivity to natural habitat. By harnessing the latest material and fabrication advancements (extruded carbon fiber structure, thin film solar panel and OLED tech), it reflects the region’s forward-thinking attitude. Simply, this tower celebrates characteristic traits of San Jose and Silicon Valley – progressiveness, open mindedness and exuberance.

While the tower is iconic, its true value is found at the ground, where it literally structures new highly functional public amenities within the park. By selecting a site not requiring drastic intervention (such as disruptive grading and tree removal) and with no need for relocation of existing landmarks, we are able to transform this corner of Arena Green – with a light touch. By augmenting existing topography, an amphitheater is formed in the landscape, anchored by the triangular group of palms at the corner of Santa Clara and Autumn. The two wings of the tower embrace this gathering space and, just as Guadalupe River and Los Gatos Creek converge nearby, rise to form a singular structure. In doing so, a diaphanous bandshell emerges behind a new public stage. The stage is an extension of the paved area beyond, now reconfigured as a large circular plaza. These elements collectively become a space for music, art, performance, markets, sports galas, ceremonies, festivals and assemblies – a truly democratic, celebratory place within the city.