San Jose St. James Park and Levitt Pavilion Competition Winners Announced

San Jose City Council confirmed a design team led by CMG Landscape Architecture was awarded the contract to rejuvenate historic St. James Park. The open space dates from the founding of the city and is in the heart of San Jose, the capitol of Silicon Valley. CMG’s design entry – REMEMBER | IMAGINE – won the national design competition, working with pavilion designers Future Cities Lab.

“We are excited to work with San Jose to build a world-class urban park in the heart of Silicon Valley. Throughout the next phases of the project we will work with the community to create an extraordinary park that will be a safe, beautiful and sustainable place for all,” said Willett Moss, founding design partner of CMG Landscape Architecture. The competition winning proposal for rejuvenation of St. James Park merges the experiential qualities of the historic open space with the burgeoning cultural and economic vitality of the capitol of Silicon Valley to create a distinct San Jose experience. Resonating with the delight of traditional strolling gardens and modern recreational amenities, St. James Park is envisioned as a contemporary urban park for the neighborhood and city. The design is characterized by an expansive shade canopy of trees that defines the park’s place in the urban fabric and includes amenities like picnic areas, a cafe and a dog park, and a sculptural Levitt Pavilion for music and performing arts.

The cutting-edge pavilion, designed by Future Cities Lab, will feature what the designers call an “urban stage” set against a dramatic backdrop of park and city. Future Cities Lab founding partners Nataly Gattegno and Jason Kelly Johnson explain: “We designed the pavilion to be an open and illuminated space seamlessly integrated with the park. We want to encourage neighbors to stroll through the colonnades and interact with the pavilion day and night. When there is a scheduled event – the pavilion will transform into a high-tech performance venue with superb acoustics and lighting. We are thrilled to work with the San Jose community to develop the design in the next phases of development.”

Design development of the competition winning design, a collaboration between CMG Landscape Architecture, Future Cities Lab, Page & Turnbull and ARUP, will begin shortly with the City and community.

Image Credits | Courtesy of CMG Landscape Architecture and Future Cities Lab

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at