Did you know that some tall structures visibly sway in the wind? It’s true; many of the iconic designs for the world’s tallest buildings were made to help these skyscrapers deal with high-speed wind. The winning entry for the Urban Confluence Silicon Valley design competition embraces the effect of wind on its structure. Designed by SMAR Architecture Studio, the Breeze of Innovation tower is made up of super tall rods that sway in the wind while generating power to light up at night.

The dynamic tower will be built in Guadalupe Park and Gardens in San José, California, where it will become a new landmark for the innovative city. Each of the 500 rods is about 200 feet long and is equipped with a lamp at the tip. Visitors during the daytime can watch these super-thin structural members swaying in the wind while nighttime visitors will see the light show this movement produces. Though the design serves a clever function as a monument, the creators believe it holds a deeper conceptual meaning.

“Silicon Valley is not about replicating the past; it’s about shaping the future,” says Fernando Jerez, founder of SMAR Architecture Studio. “Our goal from the beginning was to capture the ever-changing magic of Silicon Valley while also creating a deep connection with the San José community. This is why we came up with the idea of designing a dynamic landmark, one that is alive, moving with the wind and light, a magical space that includes a tribute to the San José electric light tower of 1881. We want visitors to enjoy a unique experience on their ascent, connecting with the memory of the valley while dreaming about its future possibilities.”

The tower, and its significance for San José, is more than a monument to be enjoyed from afar. Visitors can walk through the project in a massive open space surrounded by the rods. They can also gaze over the city at an observation platform just above the sea of glowing lamps for a unique look at what’s below.

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