New Silicon Valley Art Installation Will Feature 500 Swaying Rods

Courtesy SMAR Architecture Studio

The stunning piece beat out nearly 1,000 competition entries.

Silicon Valley is a location that thinks outside the box and pushes the boundaries of what's possible. So, when the Urban Confluence Silicon Valley created a competition to design a new landmark for Guadalupe Park and Gardens, there were bound to be some incredible submissions. But the winning one outshone them all...literally.

SMAR Architecture Studio submitted a proposal for their Breeze of Innovation piece that would feature a 200-foot-tall tower of 500 flexible lit rods that would sway in the wind. The swaying motion would not only be mesmerizing, but it also is the mechanism by which the lights power themselves.

Interior view of Breeze of Innovation by SMAR Architecture Studio
Courtesy SMAR Architecture Studio

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The installation, which was one of 963 submissions across 72 countries, would be designed to allow visitors to walk through the structure via several walkways. Plus, there would be a viewing platform to experience the piece from above and simultaneously take in views across the valley. The team also proposed an exhibition space and a cafe to be part of the Breeze of Innovation project.

The inspiration for the piece came from the San José electric light tower of 1881. At the time, it was an attraction in the area, but it collapsed in a 1915 storm. The new installation would pay homage to the history while also showing what's possible for the future.

Nighttime top view of Breeze of Innovation by SMAR Architecture Studio
Courtesy SMAR Architecture Studio

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This isn't the first competition win for the firm. They also won the Science Island International Design Contest for Lithuania's new National Science and Innovation Center with its futuristic airy building.

While the studio already won the San José installation competition, the plans will be submitted to the city's city council in May 2021 to gain approval for the build.

Incredibly, though the area is known for its innovation and high net worth residents who love art, Silicon Valley only opened its first gallery five years ago. The 20,000-square-foot Pace Art and Technology, which opened in 2016, showcases contemporary digital artworks.