0964 - Landform


The experience of preserved nature constitutes California’s greatest monuments. Landform eschews an object in favor of the inherent monumentality of a natural landscape. Landform merely transcribes an excerpt of a found landscape in an iconic form - effortlessly evoking the timeless monumentality of nature. Sloped peaks, planted with polychromatic native grasses and flowers, encircle the undisturbed ecology of Confluence Point. Wildflowers anticipate the spectacle of an urban superbloom every Spring. The new monument asks less of what should be built, but rather what should be celebrated. A monumental public park becomes a new center for the city.


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Iconic Destination

Landform simply offers an excerpt of a found landscape – capturing the inherent monumentality of nature. In place of an object in a park, Landform presents the inversion – an iconic landmark surrounding a verdant garden. The restored ecology of Guadalupe Park is encircled by peaks composed of vibrant native grasses and blooming flowers. These compelling aesthetic forces accrete and amplify as seasonal shifts contribute to an ever-changing landscape of polychromatic blooms. The wildflowers serve as an index of passing time – an experience that is never the same. The monumental today is one of a shared experience rather than merely a recognizable image, and Landform strives to achieve both.


Strong Visual Presence

A sloping field of flowering peaks encircles the native landscape – augmenting the found nature in an immersive, polychromatic bloom. The sloping peaks drown out the noise and lights of the city – simulating an immersion in nature. As a counterpoint to the contained landscape, the exterior presents a polished surface reflecting and amplifying the bustle of the surrounding city. An array of kinetic lights accentuates the form and animates the space beneath. At night, this perimeter transforms into an active platform for civic activity. At a distance, the landmark ascends to a height of 150 feet presenting a verdant, elevated landscape as a natural icon to San Jose’s urban skyline.


Culture of Innovation

Landform elicits the experience of the sublime by simulating the experience of wilderness in the center of San Jose. The verdant interior functions as a wild, ever-changing counterpoint to the city’s urban fabric – an idyllic respite for creative contemplation. As a foil to the captured landscape inside, the exterior shell encapsulates an equally complex web of compressive and tensile forces – mimicking the structural logic of a suspension bridge.


Net-Zero Energy Design

Inside, native species of plants thrive and propagate. Here, we find symbiosis and ecological harmony: the energy consumed by the array of lights is offset by the energy collected by an array of photovoltaic floor tiles that occasionally punctuate and accent the hardscape along the perimeter. Celebrating San Jose’s Ecology Landform encircles Confluence Point, preserving and enhancing the natural ecology of the site. The form bridges across the Los Gatos Creek and Guadalupe River, gently landing on either side. The landmark highlights San Jose’s rich natural landscape and invites residents and visitors alike to become immersed in California’s ethereal superbloom every spring.