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Will one of these ideas become San Jose’s new landmark?


The effort to create a new landmark in downtown San Jose has reached an important stage, with all 963 proposals submitted to Urban Confluence Silicon Valley — including 47 recommended by a community panel — available for public viewing and ready for a 14-person jury to pick three finalists

The ideas came from 72 countries and include everything from infinity loops, ramps, towers and arches. Some are covered in plants and greenery, others are made of stone and metal. Some have light features, some have water accents and some reach 200 feet into the sky. There’s a walkway that reacts as people move along it, a translucent dome that looks like an alien egg, and a giant, illuminated California grizzly bear.

“We worked so hard to spread the word to the entire world that I always expected they’d be all over the place,” said Steve Borkenhagen, the longtime San Jose businessman who serves as executive director of Urban Confluence Silicon Valley. “I’m not at all surprised by the different shapes and sizes. We’ve got everything from the ridiculous to the sublime, and I think there’s a bounty of riches for the jury.”

A panel of 34 community members — convened by Borkenhagen and board members Jon Ball and Christine Davis — spent two days together in July poring over the submissions.They settled on 47 recommendations for the jury, a 14-person body made up of artists, architects, city officials and community members that will meet Monday and Tuesday to choose three finalists from the full complement of nearly 1,000 entries. All the submissions are available for public viewing and comment at www.urbanconfluencesiliconvalley.org.

At this first phase of the effort, all the submissions are still anonymous, so we don’t have any idea if a particular proposal came from Switzerland or Sunnyvale. The three finalists will be announced and identities revealed with a grand virtual event on Sept. 18. Then those finalists will have a few months — and a $150,000 stipend — to work with design and engineering professionals to refine their proposal into a workable plan. The jury will reconvene in 2021 to pick one winning design, with groundbreaking in the Guadalupe River Park’s Arena Green expected to take place in 2022.

But before the jury makes its decision, here’s a closer look at five proposals drawn from the community panel picks that showcase the diversity and creativity of the entries:

A rendering of “I Am The Bear,” one of the proposals submitted to Urban Confluence Silicon Valley for a new landmark in downtown San Jose. (Courtesy of Urban Confluence Silicon Valley)

“I Am the Bear”: When it comes to state-inspired symbols, it’s hard to beat this huge representation of California’s grizzly bear. The hollow structure could be used as a gathering space, an exhibition on state or regional history or even a place for ceremonies. Who wouldn’t want to get married inside a giant California bear? (OK, Stanford fans.)

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

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