Residents of Tel Aviv and visitors to the White City may soon find respite from the blazing Israeli sun under floating, high-tech clouds.
An Israeli group of architects, building designers, and a product designer have won a Tel Aviv-Jaffa competition asking teams to find ways to keep pedestrians and cyclists comfortable by creating shaded structures that would be built across the city to reduce “urban heat”, the idea that an urban area is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas because of human activity.
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As part of an urban initiative launched in September 2017 to increase and improve shaded public areas throughout Tel Aviv, the Tel Aviv municipality, in cooperation with the Green Building Council and the Environmental Protection Authority, invited architects and designers to offer shade solutions at selected intersections throughout the city for prizes that range from NIS 3,000 to NIS 8,000 ($870 – $2,320.) The winners of the competition, called “Tzel Aviv-Jaffa”, a play on words with the word “Tzel” meaning “Shade” and “Tel” of Tel Aviv, were announced on January 9, 2018.
First place went to ANANA, a collaborative effort featuring Perry Davidowitz Architects with product designer Bar Davidovich, and the DMR Planning & Development building design company. The team won 8,000NIS ($2,320) for their fun and “floaty” cloud-shaped solution.
Contestants had until October 31, 2017, to submit their proposals and were required to choose from three types of intersections in the city to design their shade including small, medium, and large-scale junctions in areas like the medium-sized Arlozorov-HaYarkon junction and the larger-sized Yigal Alon-Yitzhak Sade junctions in Tel Aviv.
Twenty-six proposals were submitted to the competition, 11 of which advanced to the finals. According to the municipality, proposals were considered based on a number of criteria including safety, cohesiveness, non-obstruction of traffic, simplicity, maintenance, appearance, and volume. The 11 finalists went up before a panel that included the city’s head engineer, head architect, and the director of the Environmental Protect Authority.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said in a statement: “We strive to produce more and more shaded spaces throughout the city that will allow us to use them and also encourage people to enjoy public space throughout the year.” He added that special attention and investment into the city’s public areas and its transformation into an inviting space is of top priority for the municipality. “We are required, among other things, to cope with the challenge of the Israeli climate with the burning sun most of the year in the land of the eternal sun,” he said
The selected proposals will be examined by the municipality for future implementation.
Here’s more about the winners of the “Shade Aviv-Jaffa” competition:
1st Place: Anana
ANANA won the competition because of its unique and high-tech cloud-shaped element which hangs suspended in the air and melds seamlessly into the city of Tel Aviv- Jaffa, according to a municipality statement. The structure is based on a modular system of inflatable elements filled with helium gas that literally appears to be floating in mid-air. Still, the construct itself is anchored to the ground at a number of points, and adjacent to other elements in its space without interference.
According to Anana’s proposal, it will be possible to project video art and other elements on to the objects or illuminate them. The municipality said it chose this innovation because of its originality and applicability, but also its element of lightness and air and the fact that it is easy to carry, easy to implement and even easy to put away during winter.
2nd Place: BreezAviv
Winning the 5,000 NIS ($1450) prize is the BreezAviv team of architects Eyal Gvirtzman, Noa Ronen, and Dalit Itkin with help from Yossi Kamir, a technology consultant specializing in primary models.
The team won 2nd place for its original and out-of-the-box proposal which offers the ability to cool people at various intersections with an onslaught of water that shoots out from the same structure that propels air out of a fan, the city said. This shade solution is versatile and has an option for additional solar panels as well as an option to add LED lighting at night, according to the city.
3rd Place (Tie!): Carota + Back To The Roots 2.0
Third place went to two teams, with each winning NIS 2,000 ($580) with their designs. The first is Carota, a team made up of Dr. Yael Halfman-Cohen, CEO of the Israeli Biomimicry Organization, Dr. Saadia Sternberg, an origami artist, a mechanical engineer and product development specialist named Eliran, architect Melanie Samson, industrial designer Omri Kaiser, and architectural students from the Technion.
Their structure included solar panels and was hailed by the municipality for its ability to convey two different ideas, simplicity and originality, in one design.
The second 3rd place winner was called Back To The Roots 2.0 by architect Roi Tamir, which the municipality said proved to be very “serious” work.
In September 2017, the municipality approved a policy document that would require city builders, planners, and entrepreneurs to add more shade in open spaces. According to the document, sidewalks need to shaded by 80 percent, keeping out direct sunlight on at least one side of the pavement. Paved squares were required to have 40 percent shade, and 50 percent shade was required in schoolyards and school playgrounds. Children’s playgrounds need to be completely covered, according to the plan, and parks and open spaces need to be 20 percent covered.