Full Gas In Neutral

PrizeHonorable Mention in Landscape Architecture /
Firm LocationMichmoret, Israel
CompanyCitypeloton Ltd
Lead ArchitectIlan Behrman
Design Team Anat Behrman
Clientthe Jerusalem Municipality

Full gas in neutral, an urban installation Jerusalem, Israel. A city divided by a long conflict, with more than 700,000 people and various religions, languages, political views, nationalities. All in the same city. We thought that the empty City hall square ("Safra square"), surrounded by office buildings, located exactly where the east part (mostly Arab population) of the city meet the mostly Jewish west part, needed pure optimism. We wanted to create an urban playground, a no-man's-land where people from two parts of the city can do the same simple thing: riding a bike without going anywhere, but enjoying every minute of it. We imagined that the square needed something like the colorful chaos of the Tour de France peloton, and proposed to install dozens of bicycles in which pedaling generates amusing and diverse actions. Along with the lamp, flowers, fan, speedometer and drums, each gramophone plays a different tune: the Egyptian singer Umm kulthum, Amy Winehouse, an Israeli folk singer, a Balkan song and Edith Piaf. And it turned out music had a vital role in the installation. We were very exited to see people from two parts of the city, that normally wouldn't talk with each other, realize that actually they both listened to Umm Kulthum when they were children. Now they sing together, laugh and exchange riding tips, giving us a humble hope that happier, peaceful days will come. And this the city that deserve them the most.