Flower power

March 1st, 2016 / By: / Projects

Warde urban flowers interact with passersby, creating a connection in an open and underused space. Photos: Dor Kedmi
Warde urban flowers interact with passersby, creating a connection in an open and underused space. Photos: Dor Kedmi

Vallero Square at the heart of Jerusalem, Israel, has seen better days. It’s located near a large open market and is divided into two separate spaces by a tramline. Home to facilities like a waste composter and electricity sub-station, the area is a bit tired and utilitarian with little to attract visitors.

The city of Jerusalem wanted to make this neglected space more people-friendly and worked with Tel Aviv-based HQ Architects who came up with a unique idea—flowers. But it’s not a typical flower garden. HQ created an urban installation it named Warde, a set of giant inflatable flowers that naturally attract curiosity and delight.

WARDE_evening_no_people_photo_Dor_KedmiThe four 30-foot-high by 30-foot-wide flowers are placed in the square in positions where they can be seen from many vantage points, including the nearby market. But the flowers’ best feature is that they interact with passersby. When a pedestrian walks by, the flowers inflate and open up; they deflate and close as the person walks away. The flowers
offer shade on summer days and feature lighting to provide a bright oasis at night. They’re also an alert system for busy shoppers—when a tram approaches, all four flowers inflate
at once.

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