Sometimes it seems like a city hates you. It’s a maze built in unrelenting concrete and steel, full of lights that are always too red, signs that are always too vague, and benches that are always too hard.
By contrast, there’s Warde, an installation of giant, kinetic, poppy-like flowers, designed by Tel Aviv’s HQ Architects for Jerusalem’s Valero Square. Installed last year, the sculptures were built to revitalize a neglected downtown space that, despite being off public transportation and near a major shopping area, served as more of a pass-through than a square where people might want to relax and spend time.
Warde’s stalks respond to passersby, blooming 30 feet overhead to shield people from the sun during the day, and to illuminate the space around them at night. The mechanism at play is simple: pedestrians trigger sensors that make the blooms inflate and deflate. But the transformative effect on the space has the potential to be profound, because Warde both acknowledges your presence and welcomes you in.