Public art is often great for the eyes without so much practicality. While practicality is certainly not a must, it can improve and deepen the interaction. An urban installation located in the Vallero Square, in the heart of Jerusalem, is one such example. The installation is called Warde, and it consists of nine meter tall flower shaped lights.
These flower shaped street lights have been installed by HQ Architects in 2014 according to the municipality’s intention to improve this part of the city. The Vallero Square is considered to be in poor condition, and in need of a magical touch. This is exactly what the red colored flowers do. They bloom and light up when someone approaches or when a tram is about to arrive.
The red flowers are indeed artsy, and the lighting they provide is practical. Yet, there is so much more to it. Through these flowers, the space is transformed, the physical is dematerialized and the reality is challenged.
“Warde’s attempt was not to fight the chaos but instead to try and lighten up the urban space, by spreading around these four elements that have a hint of fantasy, and with their help, overcome the reality of the square,” say the HQ architects. They prove that improving does not always mean fixing. Tightening up the urban space and creating fantastic elements that seem to belong some place else, Warde provides an unreal setting.
As physical as these flowers are, the interaction is of a different nature. Spreading their petals when a pedestrian walks by, these lifeless flowers react. If the pedestrian chooses to stand still, the flowers stay open, too. Indeed, it is a dialogue between the flowers and the people.
With this transformation of space and interaction, Warde does not fight or fix the chaos. What it does is beautification. Even if still chaotic, Vallero Square is more beautiful to the eyes and soul now.