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For all but a handful of days each year, the Be’er Sheva River bed lies dry and exposed, ready to channel away the annual flash floods that are typical of Israel’s Negav region. The waterfront has nontheless been the focus of a substantial redevelopment program in recent years, with the creation of a 1,700-acre parkland including historic trails, cycle paths and a boating lake. As part of these improvements, a competition was launched to solicit designs for a new bridge that would link the River Park to the Old City of Be’er Sheva and at the same time conceal a series of raised drainage pipes that traverse the river course. The pipes’ stark industrial appearance had long been a blot on the landscape and, with the formation of the surrounding parkland and the area’s rapid reinvention as a recreational zone, the pipes had become an unacceptable visual distraction. Rather than boxing off the tubes, the winning design by architect Rami Marash instead incorporated them into the structure of the bridge. Painted white, they form a central spine running along its axis separating the structure’s two pathways – one a cycle lane, the other a footpath. The pathways join at the middle of the bridge to form an observation platform, dubbed the Balcony of the Negev, from where the public can take in views of the River Park, Old City and the historic site of Abraham’s Well. The pedestrian side of the bridge is covered by a continuous line of stretched fabric shades, providing protection from the sun during the day and acting as a canvas for a colourful lighting scheme at night. Lighting design duties fell to Amir Brenner, who came on board thanks to Moti Fogel, electrical engineer on the bridge project and with who Brenner had worked on numerous projects in the past. “After a few meetings with the architects, the electrical consultants and the customer, I had a good idea about the lighting design for the bridge,” remembers Brenner. “But in order for everybody to understand my concept, I had to create some really good light simulation images.” Brenner went away and, using Martin Professional’s ShowDesigner software, put together a series of visuals that explained how the finished bridge concept would work. When the team met the city’s mayor in April 2009, Brenner’s visuals formed an important part of the presentation that secured the final approval – and financing – required to carry the project through. Much of the lighting came from Aldabra, via local distributor Lirad. Key to the scheme is the colour-changing illumination of the pedestrian canopy, achieved using Moyra


Curved support ribs and straight armatures hold a stretched canopy in place, providing shade to the pedestrian side of the bridge during the day and a canvas for ground recessed luminaires at night.


RGB 37X LED fixtures, ground recessed into the walkway. The canvas is stretched between straight armatures that jut out from the curved supporting columns running along the outer edge of the bridge. The tips of these armatures are each fitted with Tekno 3W fixtures at one end to illuminate the walkway and with Hidra H3 at the other to emphasise the shape and rhythm of the curved support ribs. Unilamp’s 24W Brick fixtures are used to illuminate the cyclepath side and the support pillars underneath the bridge are highlighted using further Hidra H3’s fixed at the bottom of the support ribs. The bridge opened to much celebration on 1st November, two-and-a-half years after plans were first drafted. www.amirbrener.co.il


PROJECT DETAILS


Pipe Bridge, Be’er Sheva, Israel Client: City of Be’er Sheva / Drainage Authority Lighting Design: Amir Brenner Architect: Rami Marash


LIGHTING SPECIFIED


Lighting: Aldabra Moyra RGB 37X LED 1W; Aldabra Hidra H3; Aldabra Tekno 3W; Unilamp Brick 26W Control: Philips Color Kinetics Multi Synchronizer


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