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Giant flowers respond to passersby with shading

November 20th, 2015 / By: / Out There

The installation is equipped with lights to illuminate the public space at night.
The installation is equipped with lights to illuminate the public space at night. Photos: Dor Kedmi

Created by HQ architects, ‘Warde’ is an urban installation in Jerusalem that is comprised of four nine-meter square-shaped inflatable flowers. These flowers, however, are not just striking with their bright color and impressive size. They are uniquely useful, since they offer city dwellers some welcome shade. They also actively respond to the presence of people by opening as they arrive under the giant blossoms, and closing again when no one is there.

Each one is separately inflated and reacts to the situation around it: whenever pedestrians walk by, the flowers are filled with air, therefore they open up and when people walk away, they deflate. This also happens when the tram is approaching the station nearby: the four flowers open up and signal people in the square that it’s time to catch their transportation.

The project is part of the municipality’s effort to improve the urban space of the city center and in this specific case, a city square that’s now divided by a tram line into two urban spaces, where facilities such as waste composters and an electricity sub-station dot the landscape.

The installation seeks to not “fight the chaos,” but instead to try and lighten up the urban space and overcome its less-than-attractive surroundings. The four giant flowers were positioned so that they could be viewed from all around the square and from the adjacent market.

When no one is around, the flowers stay close and do not open until they detect the presence of people once again.
When no one is around, the flowers stay close and do not open until they detect the presence of people once again.
The “flowers” automatically respond to people walking under them by inflating and offering shade.
The “flowers” automatically respond to people walking under them by inflating and offering shade.