SAN JOSE – A curved entertainment pavilion has begun to take shape in downtown San Jose, an attempt that could usher in a more lively atmosphere to the urban core of Bay Area’s largest city.
Construction work on the Serpentine Pavilion was underway this week on the Valley Title lot along South First Street near West San Carlos Street, across the road from the California Theater, direct observation of the site showed.
The Serpentine Pavilion, a travel event center, is poised to become a hub for culture, art, music, theater, fashion, film, speakers and other entertainment on a key in downtown San José SoFA, according to a proposal from developer Westbank, which owns the place where the exhibition takes place.
“It’s wonderful to see a world-class art installation come to the center,” said Ted McMahon, chief investment officer at Bayview Development, one of the most active real estate developers in downtown San Jose.
Westbank is looking at a number of potential uses for the Serpentine Pavilion, which was designed by the architect and design firm Bjarke Ingels Group.
“The exhibition will deliver approximately 308 individual events, including but not limited to artist talks, a series of speeches, courses and workshops, private events, public readings, dance, music and theater performances, fashion shows, film screenings, multi-media events, and design charrettes.” it in an employee report from San Jose.
The place where the Serpentine Pavilion will sprout is on a property owned by an alliance of Canada-based Westbank, a developer with international reach; and San Jose-based Urban Community, a Bay Area developer.
The first activities are expected to begin within the next few weeks. The exhibition could remain in San Jose until April 2022.
“San Jose has always been extremely supportive of public art and new ways of looking at things,” said Bob Staedler, CEO of Silicon Valley Synergy, a consulting firm for use in agriculture. “This kind of venue is more what San Jose wants.”
The pavilion consists of about 1,800 fiberglass frames that are stacked and arranged to form a curved aisle that resembles a cave.
The Serpentine Pavilion has become an international traveling exhibition. Its stops have included London’s Kensington Gardens and Toronto. Westbank came up with the idea of sending the pavilion on a global tour. The structure can be assembled and then disassembled to enable its tours.
City officials and executives at Westbank believe the Serpentine Pavilion will be the focal point of an exhibit that can activate the SoFA district by offering free programs for public as well as private events, San Jose planners said.
“That’s the kind of mood we need,” McMahon said.
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