18.09.2020

URBAN CONFLUENCE SILICON VALLEY – AEONS ANONYMOUSLY SELECTED BY THE COMMUNITY COMPETITION PANEL FOR THE JURY

The competition was to create an iconic landmark to celebrate Silicon Valley as a global hub for innovation. It attracted 963 international entries and AEONS was chosen as one of 47  concept designs to be recommended to the Jury, in an anonymous judging process.

Aeons was conceived as a collaboration between us as architects, interactive designers Jason Bruges Studio and integrated consulting engineers Buro Happold. It stands as a testament to the creative possibilities during the early Covid-19 lockdown.

AEONS represent the timeless, infinite progression of ingenuity and innovation. They stand for humanity and technology and conceptualise that ideas are not born in isolation, but through a dialogue of cumulative knowledge over generations, which provokes invention. The materiality from sandstone to silicon is a metaphor of time, progress and achievement in Silicon Valley. Aeons presents an uplifting perspective which celebrates the confluence of ideas.

The distinctive dual silhouette, with its warm hues by day and lit surfaces by night, will become an emblem of the city from a distance for freeway users and air passengers and a source of affection for the local community. It will also create a dynamic backdrop for media broadcasts.

AEONS generate a localised microclimate, cooling visitors through atomised mist which naturally removes heat from the air. The minimal footprint enhances the useable recreational area. A curated journey through the ellipse reveals a timeline of Silicon Valley’s global contributions. The timeline’s content will be drawn in collaboration with the local community and then realised through innovative AI construction techniques.

By day, the sculpture creates intrigue through intricate, natural shadow-play across the park. In contrast, by night it is an exploration in transcendence symbolised by the projection of light onto solid sandstone, coupled with the internal illumination of glass. The effect is a harmonious   juxtaposing with the landscape, the confluence of the river and the lit shadows on the park and water surfaces. The cloud mist technology will become a moving canvas for light installations.

Within AEONS’ structure, integrated photovoltaic systems will enable battery trickle charging to support low power LED lights. To shorten installation time and impact to local wildlife, most of the structure will be prefabricated. To further reduce carbon footprint, there would be a commitment to specify local recycled and reclaimed materials wherever possible.

The structural design counterbalances the heavyweight foundations which are entrenched in the landscape with the cantilevering rings. Post-tensioning the rings improves bending resistance thus optimising weight distribution, we would employ the latest carbon fibre technologies. Seismic risk is addressed as are limiting materials and embodied carbon.