The overriding theme this week is “light.” The Winter Solstice ushers in the “rebirth of the sun” and now brings more light to each day. Hanukkah is referred to as the “Festival of Lights.” And the Christmas star represents the first star of Bethlehem that shone on the night Jesus was born. So it’s only fitting that Magnificent Metal Monday (MMM) takes us to the Holy Land of Israel to highlight a new “Light Sculpture Plaza” in a town called Modi’in. Located just about halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, this plaza opened earlier this year and is the recipient of one of the 2019 World Landscape Architect (WLA) Awards.

Shlomo Aronson Architects designed the plaza to create a new attraction and point of interest through a play of light, shade, and color in the daytime, and light and shadow at night. 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.  

The new plaza provides a landmark and destination point for visitors to the promenade, but also a transition between the quiet and green of the existing linear park and the intensity and activity of the new city center. 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.