San Jose Landmark Design Chosen; Here’s what’s next

Efforts to create a landmark structure in Silicon Valley have limited their choices to one: Breeze of Innovation, a 200-foot structure made of 500 easily movable steel bars that could be built in San Jose’s Guadalupe River Park by 2025.

The structure designed by Fernando Jerez and Belén Perez de Juan from SMAR Architecture Studio was selected as the first choice of three finalists earlier this month by the 14-person panel of judges from Urban Confluence Silicon Valley, the nonprofit group created to drive the effort forward. Jon BallThe retired site manager, who chairs Urban Confluence and served as one of the lawyers, said the unique concept of “Breeze of Innovation” really sets it apart from the other finalists – and the original field of 963 submissions from 72 countries.

“Why choose a design that isn’t really innovative for a project that celebrates our region and is known around the world as a hub of innovation?” Said Ball. “This is a dynamic structure that moves in part and brings challenges, the other Designs didn’t have. “

The design includes 500 stainless steel rods that sway gently in the wind, creating a visual effect and generating electricity to illuminate it at night. A conical void within the building pays homage to the San Jose Electric Light Tower that stood downtown from 1881 to 1915. There will be multiple levels of walkways, an exhibition space, a cafe and an observation deck that are designed to offer breathtaking views of the valley from its location in the Arena Green West portion of Guadalupe River Park.

But a lot has to happen before then. Two more online community meetings will be held on April 1 at 6 p.m. and April 5 at 5:30 p.m., where the public can learn more and provide feedback. You can register for these meetings, get more information about the project and view recordings of previous meetings at www.urbanconfluencesiliconvalley.org.

The San Jose City Council must also approve the selection, which is expected to be considered in early May. Ball and the rest of the Urban Confluence team – Executive Director Steve Borkenhagen and board member Christine Davis – Hope for a unanimous nod from the council, in line with previous votes in 2018 and 2019, to signal the city’s strong support for the project. But also at the meeting, resistance from environmental representatives against the construction of the structure near the Guadalupe River is expected.

“Our message to the environmental community and the general public is that we will continue to act responsibly,” said Ball. “With the help of our advisors and environmental advisors, we know what we can and cannot do to comply with environmental regulations, and we will continue to do so Honor the riverside corridor and make good lighting choices so we don’t disturb birds or other wildlife. “

If the city council approves the design, it will work with the city and the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy for the next 18 months to produce an environmental impact report, which Ball Confluence would pay for, and incorporate the necessary changes into the final design. Urban Confluence hopes the Breeze of Innovation will be completed by 2025, but Ball promised no groundbreaking would take place until all necessary funding is secured – a figure he believes will exceed $ 100 million.

“We will not put ourselves or the city in a situation,” he said, “in which the completion of the project depends on an uncertain financial solution.”

CINEQUEST CLOSING STRONG: There are still a few days left before the Cinequest virtual film festival ends this week and it ends in good shape.

Darren Star, Creator of “Sex and the City” and “Emily in Paris”, will receive the festival’s Maverick Spirit Award on March 28th at 1:00 pm. On March 30th, the phenomenal documentary “Boys State” – a Grand Prize Jury winner at Sundance last year – will be the closing show on March 30th, followed by a chat with the Bay Area-based directors. Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss. An additional day was added to the schedule on March 31st. The focus is on a conversation with the singer and the Golden Globe winner Andra Day and director Lee Danielswho will speak about “The United States Vs. Billie Holliday” which will be shown after the discussion. Incidentally, Cinequest donates all proceeds from tickets sold for the Billie Holliday event to the non-profit organization Stand Up to Cancer.

For more information and tickets, visit www.creatics.org/cinejoy. Both Boys State and The United States Vs. Billie Holliday are available in the Spotlights category, and the Darren Star event is listed under Celebrations.

GET CREATIVE: The School of Arts and Culture celebrates at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose Cesar Chavez Day on March 31st in an artistic way. The school will host a virtual event starting at 6:30 pm that will focus on the “power of words” that Chavez – who would have been 94 on Wednesday – knew a lot about.

Art guide Ron Muriera will hold a keynote about the partnership between Larry Itliong and the Filipino farm workers with Cesar Chavez and the National Farm Workers Association. This is followed by a poetry workshop by Elizabeth Jimenez Montelongo and a sign painting workshop with artists Ben Henderson and Jorge “J. Duh ”Camacho. You can register for the free event at bit.ly/3tUSGb9.

VALLEY WOMEN OF INFLUENCE: Every year since 1987, members of the California State Senate and Congregation have celebrated Notable Women from their districts in honor of March Women’s History Month. The women’s caucus of the legislature has summarized all the tributes to this year’s award winners in an online program that you can see at womenscaucus.legislature.ca.gov/woman-of-the-year.

Santa Clara is one of the Silicon Valley winners Sandra Dailey, an entrepreneur who runs Sandi’s soul food concession at Levi’s Stadium; Our City Forest Executive Director Rhonda Berry;; Resident of Milpitas Jinky Peralta, Managing director of Sleeping Bags for the homeless in Silicon Valley; Executive Officer of the South Bay Labor Council Jean Cohen;; and Monte Sereno residents Leslee Guardino, Co-founder of Canyon Snow Consulting.

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