The light sculpture plaza is located in the center of the new town of Modiin, one of Israel’s new cities planned in the early 1990s in response to the massive post-Soviet immigration to Israel. Construction began with the building of neighborhoods around small commercial centers and interconnected green open spaces. The development of the city center was postponed until a critical mass of residents could support a vibrant and truly urban center—a place to be enjoyed by people of all ages, at any time of the day.
The plaza is situated at the meeting point between an older, established neighborhood park and the new city center development along a one-kilometer-long boulevard. The mayor asked us to create a strong focal point at the end of the central spine of the new development, a landmark and destination for visitors, while also serving as a transition between the tranquility of the existing park and the energy of the new city center.
Design alternatives were explored, focusing on creating a meeting point with a distinct sense of place and identity. Different formal expressions, such as floating shade structures, undulating walls, and conventional shade structures, were considered. The chosen alternative proposes sitting areas within a colorful sculpture that interacts with shade and sunlight, light and darkness, density and sparsity.
The sculpture is composed of identical steel elements, placed at varied angles and spacings to form three arched waves. The sides of the elements in each wave are painted with three of four total colors, thus creating the shifting color impressions for visitors as they move around the space.
In the daytime, the sculpture defines grassy and paved outdoor rooms for visitors to meet and sit in and creates a play of shifting colors for those passing around and through. At night, the sculpture is lit up dramatically, projecting patterns of light and shadow. Residents from the surrounding neighborhoods and visitors to the area enjoy gathering in the striking world created within the sculpture.
The new plaza became an instant hit with the younger generation, discovering the many different angles of the colorful sculpture while enjoying the play of light and shadows throughout the day and at night.
Client: The Modiin Economic Development Company
Date of Completion: 2019
Size of Project: 1000 sqm
Team: Barbara Aronson, Ayehlet Cooper, Daniel Shorer, David Gruss.
Lighting Design: Eran Aronson
Location: Light sculpture, Emek Ayalon St, Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut
Design year: 2016-17