“Warde” is an urban installation by HQ Architects, located in Vallero Square, in the heart of Jerusalem, positioned at the entry of the main open market and a tramline station. It is composed of four 30-foot-high and 30-foot-wide inflatable flowers. The installation is part of the municipality’s effort to improve the urban space of the city center.
The existing square is in poor condition. Divided by the tramline into two urban spaces, with no supported program around them, and filled with inevitable urban facilities such as a waste composter and electricity substation, which a patchwork of ongoing landscape attempts to fix the incoherent environment couldn’t save.
Warde’s intention was not to fight the chaos, but instead to try to “tighten up urban space” to spread around such fantastic elements that would overcome the reality of the square on the one hand and on the other be able to stand for themselves in the unrealistic situation of Jerusalem.
Four giant flowers were carefully positioned to be in view from all around the square and from the market nearby. Each is separately inflated and reacts to the situation around it, so that whenever pedestrians walk by, the flowers inflate and open up and then deflate and close as the people walk away.
If a passerby is looking for a moment of shade during the hot summer days, the flower will inflate and stay open until the person leaves. When the tram is approaching the station, all four flowers will inflate at once and signal the shoppers to hurry if they want to catch the tram. The urban space suddenly reacts to the people using it.