The new design for the existing Park Valencia that is the “heart” and “backyard” of the Santana Row District is meant to reinvent, rejuvenate and recharge this successful and vibrant multi-use plaza space. INTERSTICE proposed to design a new and exciting identity which builds on its popularity, while integrating two new perimeter food kiosks along its southern edge. The kiosks form a garden trellised edge, re-defining the intimate plaza where new landscape elements create a playful and engaging atmosphere within the intentionally more flexible open plaza. The park is imagined as a gathering of “creatures” in an oasis – a folded green lawn slopes up to form a sculptural water feature, surrounded by giant chameleons which share the pond and create a focus to the space.
Chameleon sculptures engage the raised seat walls, situated in the four compass positions. They are larger than life, life-like, yet abstract – made of smooth colored pre-cast concrete. A chameleon theme is featured in these sculptural elements, in the play area, and the fence surrounding the play area, as well as throughout the larger Santana Row District. The Green is an artificial turf centerpiece to the plaza space and serves as flexible use space for play, picnicking, sun-bathing, lounging, and audience viewing for the stage. The west end of the green slopes gently up to a sitting height with a deep cast concrete edge for casual seating.
Re-alignment and renovation of the existing stage creates an improved entry with better visibility and circulation, alignment of the plaza green with the stage for enjoying programmed events, and areas for movable tables and chairs associated with the eating establishments both new and existing, while the stage is materially unified with the surrounding planters.
LOCATION: Santana Row, San Jose
SCOPE: Landscape Architecture, Concept Design through Construction Observation
The Park is directly surrounded by dining establishments and serves shoppers, office workers, visiting families, and residents from the region and the neighborhood on a 24/7 basis. The existing grand palms are preserved, perimeter seating areas are redefined to provide improved service and a better experience of the park, spatial modifications are proposed to create visibility and openness at the entries approaching from Olin Avenue and Santana Row.