0905 - The GreenLight

GreenLight is a new prototype of a landmark in San Jose that contains an interpretation of the old Electric Light Tower into contemporary language. It attempts to avoid the stationary landmark but instead, provoke public participation, different activities, and ever-changing landmark through duality concept; Green and Light. Each element majorly manipulates the spaces of the landmark at different times (day and night) and provides different programs according to the users. GreenLight will function as a central hub that gathers different users as a landmark while continues the spiritual originality of former Light Tower.


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In order to continue the spirit and historical value of former Electric Light Tower in San Jose, GreenLight is proposed with contemporary re-interpretation of landmarks and the symbolic meaning of its historical background of the Light Tower; its aesthetic value, the enthusiastic public participation, and philanthropic vision.

Typology of existing landmarks is mostly pinpointed and vertically expanded with highly visual attraction. Within these defined areas, movements and activities of visitors are limited. This stationary landmark typology seems outdated and divorces from the vision of San Jose City and its contexts and global trends. Therefore, GreenLight suggests a new landmark paradigm by applying the sustainable elements, ‘Green’ as well as celebrates the former light tower via ‘Light’. Through verticality and horizontality, green and light, business and urban districts, and day and night, these dualities will evoke public participation, movements, and various activities, and provoke the real-time ever-changing landmark.

The landmark features of GreenLight can be mainly divided into the day and night. Green surface, which expanded vertically and horizontally, provides public space for resting, or other events on daytime as a park landmark concept. The soaring form of green space creates visual access from a distance. It causes curiosity with a high peak and attracts visitors. In particular, it also becomes a part of urban promenade for office works from business districts. By providing more dynamic hillsides to the flat landscape of San Jose, GreenLight will change the cityscape, skyline, and activities occurring within the city.

The landmark element of night is ‘Light’, and there are two different types. First, ‘Beacon Light’, which serves as a signal of a lighthouse, is located at the top of the tower as the brightest light and serves as a directional and symbolic feature that can be easily noticed from any side of the city. Pin lights are started from Beacon light and illuminate along the public ramps on the east side connecting to the ground. The second light is LED strip lights and numerous LED strips from the edge of the structure are connected to the ground to create ever-changing space. The space and its size of the LED light space can be freely manipulated from time to time depending on events. LED lights also provide new spatial experience and contain symbolic meaning just as old Light Tower installed on roads.