Flowers are blooming in Jerusalem, but not the kind that you might expect. Tel Aviv’s HQ Architects installed Warde, a set of four gigantic flower-like sculptures that bloom into blood-red poppies whenever pedestrians draw near. The interactive sculptures inject color and life back to the city’s derelict Vallero Square and provide lighting at night and shade during the day when the flowers are fully inflated.
The sculptures are divided into two pairs, with one located at the entrance of the city’s market square and the other at the nearby tram station. The black “stems” culminate into downward facing “seed heads” imbedded with streetlights and attached to an inflatable petal-like fabric that droops when the square is empty. The electricity-powered sculpture reacts to pedestrians walking past or by the approach of the tram, with sensors triggering the inflation of the fabric into 9-meter-wide poppies.
“The existing square is in poor condition,” says HQ. “Divided by the tram line into two urban spaces, with no supported program around them, and filled with inevitable urban facilities such as waste composter and electricity sub-station, which a patchwork of ongoing landscape attempts to fix the non-coherent environment couldn’t save. Warde’s attempt was not to fight the chaos, but instead to try and ‘tighten up urban space,’ to spread around such fantastic elements that would overcome the reality of the square on one-hand, and will be able to stand for themselves in the non-realistic situation of Jerusalem on the other.”
Images via HQ Architects