As the largest city in Silicon Valley, San Jose is recognized internationally as the center of innovation and technology, yet the region lacks a defining artistic or architectural landmark. Great cities are recognized by great landmarks. We propose Confluence Rising, an iconic living tower that celebrates the confluence of nature, art and innovation.
Visitors are drawn to experience panoramic views framed by lush plantings from balconies at every level culminating in a roof-top greenhouse and observation deck. Each tier has areas for private contemplation, events, and art exhibitions. Elevators and stairs located in the central core makes Confluence Rising accessible to everyone. The entry plaza and cafe provide inviting gathering spaces for visitors.
The surrounding landscape includes pathways through and alongside native riparian and meadow habitats with a variety of outdoor areas perfect for strolling, play, picnicking and special events. Stunning living walls and cascading water clean the air, cool the spaces, soften urban noise, use reclaimed/recirculated water for irrigation and save precious floor space for strolling, open seating and events.
The design features diverse plantings seamlessly integrated with the tower’s architectural walls and columns. Natural ecosystems are lifted to a higher plane creating new habitats for birds and pollinators. The tower showcases different historic landscapes of San Jose and Silicon Valley such as the riparian corridor and the fruit orchards of the mid-1800s to mid-1900s.
Integrating sustainable building materials and technology like mass timber, electrochromic glass, and bird-safe anti-glare solar panels will reduce the required embodied carbon, automatically regulate solar heat gain, and harness the energy of the sun. These features along with water wise irrigation management technology invoke net-zero energy design principles.
At night, Confluence Rising and during the day, natural light illuminates the living walls, tree canopies and cascading water offering ever changing experiences. Confluence Rising provides endless experiences: whether ascending to the top floors for breathtaking views, resting in the tower’s shade or being viewed from afar by commuters each day. Confluence Rising provides a unique and uplifting place of identity that will inspire and connect the people of San Jose, Silicon Valley and beyond. Source and images Courtesy of Habitat Horticulture.