The Confluence Tower project in Downtown San Jose features an elevated pedestrian and bicycle Bridge flowing along Guadalupe River and Los Gatos Creek, culminating in a 196 feet tall tower with a spiraling inner ramp, offering panoramic views of the cityscape and an exhibition space for local Public Art. The Tower, set above the confluence of two rivers, is inspired by traditional Ohlone Basketry. The Confluence Point symbolizes a union of Nature and Technology, Tradition and Innovation. Arena Green park becomes a green haven, and the Confluence Tower marks it as a meeting point for the people of San Jose.
A redesign of Arena Green West celebrates the current restoration projects in the Bay’s tidal wetlands through both design and utility. Walkways flow around public performance venues, educational opportunities, scenic lookouts, and integrated systems for large-scale greywater and stormwater reuse.
The Confluence Tower project features a 196 feet tall Tower with a spiraling inner ramp, offering panoramic views of the surrounding cityscape, as well as an exhibition space for local Public Art. Beginning at the Tower, an elevated pedestrian and bicycle Bridge flows through the city along the Guadalupe River and the Los Gatos Creek.
The design of the Confluence Tower landmark is inspired by traditional Ohlone Basketry. The five baskets, woven of wood paneling, form an outer shell of the Tower, enclosing a support structure and a series of platforms connected by a ramp. The barrier-free ramp takes visitors to an observation deck above the park, and the walls of the baskets preserve and display the creative process behind the works of Public Art. The landmark becomes an experience which encourages activity and participation, rather than a purely sculptural gesture.
According to net-zero design principles, south-facing panels on the Tower as well as some elements on site are used for energy harvest with the help of solar panels. The project consumes little energy in its operation since it is entirely permeable, and thus requires little artificial lighting or ventilation.
The urban concept behind the project aims to strengthen the green belt in the city and connect the parks along the River and the Creek into a single Green Promenade tied together by the Confluence Bridge.
The Bridge is designed to connect the existing Guadalupe River and Los Gatos Creek trails into a single artery, taking cyclists and runners on a picturesque tour through the city, uninterrupted automobile traffic. The route starts at the Confluence Tower in Arena Green West and continues along the Guadalupe River until the Alviso Marina County Park up north; and along the Los Gatos Creek until the Lexington Reservoir County Park down south. There, both ends connect to the Ohlone Historical Trail, linking multiple heritage sites of the San Francisco Bay Area and forming a loop which begins and ends at the Confluence point. The track will inspire more people to choose the bike instead of the car – for longer trips as well as casual rides.
The Confluence Point in the revitalized Arena Green will become a place where Nature meets Technology and Tradition meets Innovation. The Park will become a green haven in the ever-developing Downtown area, and the Confluence Tower will mark it as a meeting point for the people of San Jose.