INTERCHANGE

URBAN CONFLUENCE COMPETITION - LIGHT TOWER OF SAN JOSE

Team: Anthony Mull, Ilko Iliev, Chris Donatello

Heavily influenced by its surroundings and history, this project recognizes the modern San Jose that exists as a unique byproduct of interplay between cultural and technological developments. These new technologies and their effect on media have revolutionized the way we think, feel, and live, ultimately forging a vastly interconnected society. Interchange intends to do the same.

 

Interchange refers simultaneously to the interconnectivity of technology, the site condition at the confluence of two rivers, and the connectivity of the proposed architectural intervention with the greater area of San Jose. The design is a transformative symbol demonstrated through sculptural architectural moments, dramatic lighting effects, and integrated mixed-use program, producing a new urban identity with an “impressive physical presence that will become a powerful and enduring symbol of how Silicon Valley operates as a bridge from past to present to future.” Interchange addresses these desires in a multitude of ways:

 

  1. Interchange activates the site at both day and night through the incorporation of two distinct lighting elements: a tower and a next-gen billboard. The tower provides a highly-visible vertical light effect and acts as a beacon to the site. The billboard element provides a dynamic horizontal lighting display, drawing in the public from the site’s periphery and communicating both media and culture at a large scale.

  2. Interchange proposes a unique integration of mixed-use programs providing civic, entertainment, commercial, and educational spaces. One of the key experiences is the History of Technology and Media Museum, designed as a timeline to carry users through the past, present, and future of San Jose and its contributions to technology more broadly. 

  3. Interchange tactically transforms the site to create a new urban identity. The design connects the user in a multi-leveled experience through a central courtyard, an architectural landscape, a rooftop lounge above the museum, and an observation deck atop the tower, while simultaneously retaining the majority of the existing landscape.

The following proposal is an idiosyncratic response to the profound power of the site, providing the City of San Jose with a cutting-edge icon borne out of respect for its heritage at the helm of tech.