City Lantern: Lighting the Way to the Future.
Category: Competition
Location: San Jose, CA — San Jose Light Tower Corporation

City Lantern Tower and Plaza is a competition proposal for a new, iconic landmark that captures the spirit of San Jose and Silicon Valley. It celebrates the genius of this community, its innovations, and its contributions to the world.

Arena Green will be encircled with a paved promenade, and both sides of the park will be linked by two cabled bridges over the Los Gatos Creek and the Guadalupe River. In the West, a 200’ tower will rise above the park, and a visiting center will anchor in the East.

This project is designed for activities throughout the day and night. The tower is composed of ten illuminated rings, a homage to San Jose’s old Light Tower. The frame of the tower is made by random patterns and structures inspired by nature. An observation deck at the top of the tower is optional. The first floor of the tower will be a technology museum that will highlight the inventions of Silicon Valley: mobile radio and personal computers to gene cloning and satellite technology. There will be an oculus over the museum. The top of the tower will open up to the sky, emblematic of the limitless possibilities of human ingenuity.

The visiting center will present the story of the project and this historic competition. On the upper floor, there will be a restaurant with a panoramic terrace that overlooks the two rivers, the natural setting within the circle, and the distant tower.

The project will also have a very strong presence during the night. The entire complex will be embedded with LEDs that can be illuminated in an infinite variety, from serene to celebratory light spectacles on holidays and special events. These rays of light will emanate over the plaza and bridges and will continue over the structure of the tower and visiting center. The lights’ intensity will be easily adjusted to address environmental impact. Specific lighting schemes will pay respect to San Jose’s diversity and show it’s conscientious of its role in the world.

The project is intended to be energy-efficient and self-sufficient. The pavers of the pedestrian plaza will be made of photovoltaic tiles that will power the lighting shows. We believe that our design will exceed the efficiency of net-zero and will be energy positive. The photovoltaic plaza should produce excess electricity that could go back into San Jose’s energy grid.


Exteriors, Projects