TOUCH ME-Safra squere, Jerusalem | Smadar Carmeli
The installation is from the “Showplace” project as part of the city’s 2012 efforts to revitalize and develop the city’s center.
The Jerusalem Municipality initiated the project in collaboration with the Jerusalem Development Authority and “Eden” – the Jerusalem City Center Development Company.
Safra Square in Jerusalem, situated in the heart of the City Hall complex, is a focal point for random activity and planned events. Its design considers the planned activities and aspires to preserve an open space that will enable, among other things, the construction of the traditional Succah, public gatherings, ceremonies, and more.
The Safra Square installation presents dozens of colorful and soft-looking cushions, cast in concrete, designed for the public to sit and rest.
The concept is to turn the outdoor environs into a homey ambiance. This homelike environment draws its character from the softness and warmth afforded by the various cushions laid out in different compositions.
Bringing the living room outside onto the street causes a sense of curiosity and a desire to touch. It will be the thing that distracts the passerby for a moment from his inner world while walking spontaneously in the square. By bringing the cushion outside, we’ve established a place to meet, welcome guests, and create shared seating and share the moment.
There was a deliberate choice of prints, textile patterns and colors that characterize currents from different periods in fashion as inspirations with a nostalgic flair to allow as wide a sector as possible to connect to models and shades.
The installation as a whole was designed in a “light-hearted spirit” with thought and consideration for external factors.
The concrete cushions, designed in different sizes and meticulously scattered, are randomly stacked and adorn the square with a distinctly homey motif, which transmits hospitality and an inviting atmosphere to all its visitors.
As mentioned, the cushions are scattered around the square’s perimeter. They are cast in concrete, but the texture enveloping them in characteristic folds exudes a textile character, radiating a homey softness and warmth in a range of unique colors that enabled a certain textile-like precision influenced by various sectors and periods.
Many of the cushions were created intentionally with a depression that is resultant and characteristic of a prolonged sitting, a shape that invites a renewed sitting and simulates the ‘memory of the material’ that perpetuates as a pattern the curves of the last person seated. The ‘memory of the material’ also has a design message that corresponds with the city’s perpetual existence.
In various sizes: 60-120 cm per element, a total of 76 cushions in various groupings, and in 15 different models. Each unit weighs 200-600 kg. Concrete cast in molds. The paint was applied through a combined spraying and manual brushwork. The paints are resistant to various weather conditions and varying temperatures.