Watershed - CODAworx


Submitted by Peter Richards

Client: The City of San Jose

Location: San Jose, CA, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $210,000

Project Team


Peter Richards


William Hynes

SWA Group

Industry Resource

Mark Sabatino

Gizmo Art Production, Inc

Public Art Agent

Jennifer Easton

Office of Cultural Affairs, San Jose, CA


On a 165'X30' plot on the NW side of the new Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW) located in San Jose, CA, a 6,600 gallon water storage tank collects and stores rainwater captured from the Environmental Innovation Building. This water is used to irrigate a grove of recently transplanted 100 year-old olive trees, grape vines, and star jasmine.


Along side the new HHW, an assemblage of integrated elements has been installed which relate to the fundamentals of human existence, i.e., gathering and storing energy. With emphasis on their inherent aesthetic qualities, food and water are employed as metaphors for these basic needs. These elements include both historical and current references to technologies and methodologies. In this context, they become suggestive of the fundamental aspects of human existence weighed against the continuing stream of materials that moves through our lives at various levels of expense and consequence, i.e., what we need versus what we want.


Through an extended conversation with SWA Group, a Sausalito based landscape architecture, a concept was developed responding to the implications of the stream of materials that are a part of each one of our lives. Gizmo Art Production Inc, was selected to develop the concept into a working model and then to fabricate and install the finished product. Rain Harvesting Solutions designed and installed the rainwater system and MPM Concrete Construction designed and built all foundations and footings. The overall concept and design evolved as the project was integrated with the new San Jose Environmental Innovation Center through the the leadership of the San Jose's Office of Cultural Affairs.

Additional Information

The new San Jose Environmental Innovation Center includes the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, ReStore - Habitat for the Humanities retail outlet, and Prospect Silicon Valley - a program to develop clean technology.