San Jose Little Italy Arch



The entry point to an historical neighborhood, the fruit of a grassroots operation of fund raising, in kind donors of materials and workmanship. It had to respond to the local need for a traditionally recognizable shape but also to the architect desire to avoid mimicking historical forms, and ultimately the relative humbleness of the available materials being donated.

The leading idea was that of a bridge, connecting the immigrants' culture to the local one, thus also the Golden Gate bridge “international orange” color and the reticulated framing.

More symbolic is the passage of materials from richer at the base (marble) to simpler (bricks) to nude skeleton (steel). As if this artifact had been excavated out of the ground and left exposed with its truth.