The San Jose Ring was a project undertaken by the Singapore & Taipei based firm, CROX. This was the firm’s entry to the ‘Urban Confluence Silicon Valley’ competition in 2019. The Competition was organized by San Jose Light Tower Corporation, which wanted to create an iconic landmark in Silicon Valley and San Jose, that would become a worldwide attraction. The new iconic landmark will represent the intersection of modern technology, history, art, architecture, engineering, and place-making. This world-class destination will be visited by numerous tourists and cherished by the local community as a symbol of San Jose’s and Silicon Valley’s place in the world. The winning design would be approved by SJLTC and the San Jose City Council. All though CROX’s San Jose Ring didn’t win the competition, it stood out to many architecture enthusiasts. The San Jose Ring, project was developed as a concept design as part of an international design competition that plans to establish a new icon of this new century in the Guadalupe River Park.

Park In San Jose

An infinity loop in a park in San Jose, The San Jose Ring revealed by CROX - Sheet1
The San Jose Ring infinity loop ©Urban confluence silicon valley
An infinity loop in a park in San Jose, The San Jose Ring revealed by CROX - Sheet2
The Aerial view of the vertical garden ©Urban confluence silicon valley

About the project-San Jose Ring: 

Proposal: San Jose Ring- An infinity loop in a San Jose park.
Location:  Silicon Valley, San Jose, California
Lead Architect: C. R. Lin
Design team: Dmitry Seregin, Liu Lin, Zhu Sihan, Alessandro Rattin, Sun Yong

The landmark is designed keeping in mind a new standard for Urban regeneration while creating a structure that regenerates the city’s grid. Forest, Water, Rock, Sand and Fields are accumulated into reloading land that covers up multiple functional areas, including the sports yard, theatre, library, restaurant, tourist centre, museum, etc., likewise a recycled power centre. While the rapid urbanization poses hindrances in the journey towards a better standard of living, the loop consists of petals that connect Nature and Science, The San Jose Ring would break the constraints of a 2 Dimensional space and venture into three Dimensional opened up the infinity loop. CROX claims that their concept aims to create an example and represents a standard for urban regeneration, whose impact spreads beyond the geographical surroundings.

The Design of San Jose Ring: 

An infinity loop in a park in San Jose, The San Jose Ring revealed by CROX - Sheet3
Conceptual space segregation ©Urban confluence silicon valley

The San Jose ring embodies Lin Congran’s concept of the infinite continuity of unity and historical continuity, resulting in the circular shape. The gigantic gravity-defying loop is an amalgamation of Art, Architecture, sculpture and nature. The garden merges the urban fabric of the city with nature by incorporating elements to maintain an ecological imbalance. The landscape incorporates components of forest,  lakes, boulders, deserts, and plains to encompasses multiple mixed functions.

An infinity loop in a park in San Jose, The San Jose Ring revealed by CROX - Sheet4
Site Plan ©Urban confluence silicon valley

The vertical park is developed as an infinite loop which is essentially a park within a park. The expanse of the green areas spans a height of 56 metres and the ring has a horizontal diameter of 190 metres. The entire structure has various green spaces with lush vegetation and a 10 ft. wide trail running throughout the ring.  Along with the path Various activity generating spaces such as exhibitions, artistic objects, or scientific explanations, etc., create a learning or adventure path for the public.  

An infinity loop in a park in San Jose, The San Jose Ring revealed by CROX - Sheet5
Valley land petal ©Urban confluence silicon valley

Amenities such as a green lounge, observation deck, pool, panoramic bar, sky amphitheatre, bike track, dune sports pool, restaurant & bar are just a few of the many spaces that are housed in the San Jose Ring. The rich vegetation in combination with the various earth zones like the Sandland, Valley land, Grassland, mountain land, the lake land, etc., is housed on the petal-shaped islands that separate the amenity spaces while also creating an ecosystem within the  San Jose Ring. 

The Structure: 

The ring-shaped green structure is constructed by a large spanned steel web, two-way cross arch frame and direct supporting system. The San Jose Ring’s distinct aesthetic is achieved by five petals positioned and connected to each other forming the ring. The services required for the vertical garden are concealed within the loop. The monumental landmark is designed in a way that it becomes the highlight of San Jose’s skyline. 

An infinity loop in a park in San Jose revealed by CROX - Sheet6
Front Elevation ©Urban confluence silicon valley
An infinity loop in a park in San Jose revealed by CROX - Sheet7
Sections ©Urban confluence silicon valley

Services

The façade employs Photovoltaic elements for the energy requirements of the structure and its smooth functioning.  The extensive irrigation is aided by the employment of a system that optimally utilizes rainwater tanks. Lighting is essential to highlight the structure as a landmark and to ensure its visibility from a distance. The design uses illumination in the form of a band along the narrow side surfaces of the form thus forming the infinity symbol. The 6.5 feet high strip comprises luminous dots emitting soft and shimmering lights. These lights can be programmed to emit lights of any colour or intensity and also to be responsive to the climate or the surrounding conditions. 

An infinity loop in a park by CROX - Sheet8
The view of the city from the loop ©Urban confluence silicon valley

CROX’s proposal of the San Jose Ring started with a grounded concept that grew into a complex and advanced design employing interactive and inclusive spaces. The futuristic ideas that are seen in the competition entries are in the present context and not entirely hypothetical and far off in the future. The loop or Ring was very common within the competition entries despite it being a few miles from the Apple Ring. The resulting form was described as flowing land designed as a jewel in the San Jose skyline.

References

Author

Manasi is a young architect who never ceases to be amazed by the stories told by historical structures. She appreciates the power of words as they say what the pictures can’t show. She believes that any piece of art is a form of expression and should be used wisely to say something important.

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