The symbol “Alpha” means beginning and as the Silicon Valley represents the origin of a new era (the digital era), the futuristic, but allegorical, design of this building aims to describe the ascent of the place where people with a vision live. On the top of this iconic structure stands the Silicon Valley lighthouse, an inspiring landmark for the whole world of innovation, visible from afar.
The noun “Alpha” is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, with origins in ancient Egypt. It’s used as a synonym for “beginning” or “first”, formerly used also for number “one”. It’s the name of the most brilliant star in every constellation. In computer technology “Alpha Version” means the starting development phase of every new project. Alpha male is the top member of society hierarchy and in religious beliefs it means eternal. This Alpha building shape aims at elevating its presence to something higher, not only in physical terms... That is why a triangular base crystal pyramid stands on top of the massive concrete structure, with a cusp projecting to the infinite. The three glazed faces of the pyramid, (177ft high at top), which reflect the sun during the day, becomes a futuristic lighthouse at night. The entire green-roof system cover has several positive purposes, such as providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, decreasing stress levels in people, providing a more aesthetically pleasing landscape and helping to lower urban air temperatures as well. This solution provides the building with a complete integration in the Guadalupe River park that, in this case, won’t lose any green square meter. Extensive green roofs are designed to be virtually self-sustaining and should require only a minimum of maintenance. The low ramps host cultural activities: an exhibition hall in the south one, a conference hall in the north. The northern side low ramp covering can also be turned into an external arena. Two funiculars (balanced to contain consumption) climb the steep ramps to the top. Riding on the funicular it will be possible to see the sky through the glass ceiling; the entire Silicon Valley skyline will suddenly appear when the cable-car reaches the pyramid. A panoramic terrace and a coffeeshop (or a restaurant) are located on the top. Under the building a (partially covered) public square is created. Coming from the “Sap Centre” side, this building appears as a huge gate leading into the new San Josè City epicentre. “Under the Alpha” should become a gathering place for social and public events. The neatness of this geometry, capable also to remind the ancient Electric Tower, is bound to become a unique contemporary icon. In world-wide imagination Silicon Valley represents the starting point of the digital era and the Alpha symbol perfectly epitomizes the extraordinary peculiarity of this place.