SAN JOSE – Landmarks play a huge role in real estate in terms of higher property values and tax revenues. The most famous cities have cultural landmarks. Of course, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York City has the Statue of Liberty and San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge.
As the country’s tech mecca, one could assume that San Jose would have its own architectural icon, which it doesn’t. But that will change soon.
The San Jose Light Tower Corporation recently completed submissions for its Urban Confluence Silicon Valley global competition to build a landmark in San Jose. The participants ranged from architects to designers and engineers to environmentalists. Everyone was hoping to get the chance to bring their visions to life, says Jon Ball, president of Urban Confluence Silicon Valley. UCSV received almost 1,000 submissions from architects, town planners and table makers from more than 72 countries and six continents to create this landmark with various architectural, technical and design elements.
“We’re excited about the huge amount of interest in our design competition,” said Ball. “Given the state of the world today, what could be more relevant than connecting people? Today we are one step closer to creating an outdoor space that brings our community together in this critical natural setting. From the beginning, our goal has been to create a premium visitor experience, similar to the Eiffel Tower, St. Louis Arch and the Statue of Liberty. “
The local community competition panel and judges will look for a transformative design with an impressive physical presence and a net zero energy approach that will become a destination that represents the past, present and future of Silicon Valley.
After the community competition panel has made and recommended up to 50 designs, a jury of architects, environmentalists and designers will select three finalists next month. UCSV gives each finalist $ 150,000 plus the opportunity to refine and redevelop a project plan with a team of artists, engineers and city planners. Once this is complete, a winning team will transform Arena Green at Guadalupe River Park and Gardens with a landmark of the destination.
“Not only will this kick-start tourism in San Jose when it is complete, but it will also be an important contributor to downtown San Jose real estate,” Ball told GlobeSt.com. “The winner will be able to turn this park into a landmark where visitors will have a compelling world-class experience – one that deserves more than just a photo op.”
Arena Green is a downtown park that stretches across the confluence of the Guadalupe River and Los Gatos Creek. It has two banks on which a landmark can be placed. The landmark is donated to San Jose and is intended to give Santa Clara County “a permanent and unique design that will advance humanity at the world’s epicenter of innovation.”
The project has raised more than $ 1.5 million to date as the fundraiser continued. Construction of the winning design is expected to begin in 2022.
Local philanthropists launched the international design competition last year looking for an architect / designer who would be able to create a landmark for San Jose. The landmark idea came more than 100 years after the San Jose city icon, a 237-foot-tall light pole, collapsed after a storm, GlobeSt.com learns.