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Milky Way | Urban Confluence in San Jose

Instead of designing one form to be the landmark of Silicon Valley, this project chooses to shape it collectively with four pedestrian bridges, whose image is not only inspired by the landform of the site with converging water, but also Silicon Valley’s nature of bridging past, present and future with innovation and technology. 

The integration of individuality and collectivity is the theme. Each bridge offers its own character, profile and activity while together form an integrated path in plan and a layered arc in perspective, like the milky way in the universe, consisting of a disk of numerous stars and be seen from earth as a silver river. This shows perfect resemblance of Silicon Valley’s nature: people and companies here shine as individuals, but glorious by converging. 

A good landmark doesn’t always need to go high. Without setting up a dominant structure to be viewed from ground up, Milky Way relies on each bridge to function on its own while converging at multiple points to form unity. Yet timeless is necessary. Especially in Silicon Valley where new lifestyles and perspectives are explored, the image of Milky Way is no longer perceived from ground alone but adding in other dimensions. The appearance of arc or disk can transfer within seconds with new mobility methods such as air taxi.

The four curving bridges of various heights sprawl the site without taking up too much ground space, allowing the majority of park reserved for public activities and gatherings, while the meandering paths over the confluence point celebrate the energy of water and Silicon Valley with multiple pausing spots such as open theater for performance and café.

Mass timber as both structure and material, not only showcases the most advanced and sustainable thinking of the current construction industry, but also blends well into the overall green landscape. Solar panels are integrated into the timber to generate electricity for lighting and indoor use. With minimal indoor areas and structural efficiency, Milky Way will achieve net zero energy and carbon.

Just like Eiffel tower highlights the bold iron era, the Milky Way of San Jose will be a legacy of our generation to be carried into the future.  

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