Project team:


Client: Jerusalem Development Authority – Reuven Pinsky
Client project manager: Ariel Municipal Company – Eduardo Hübscher
Lighting masterplan: Concepto – Roger Narboni, Melina Votadoro, Florence Serre/F
Architect on the Jaffa Gate project: Gaï Igra/IL
Electrical engineering: EECC

04. Apr 2012

Three religions – one masterplan
The lighting masterplan for the Old City of Jerusalem/IL

Text: Roger Narboni
Photos: Concepto

From very early times, the walled city of Jerusalem was built and developed according to the availability of water. Its long, world famous history can still be read and understood in the hand-crafted sculpted landscape that surrounds it. The complexity of the constellation of the holy city, the land it is built on and the topography of the terrain is what gives the Old City of Jerusalem its special character and charm. Retracing the form and silhouette of the city through lighting was a huge challenge, which is why the team of lighting designers from Concepto headed by Roger Narboni gladly embarked on the great endeavour.

The Old City has faced numerous battles, wars and conquests since its early beginnings. During its long history Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times. Has it ever been subject to a lighting masterplan? Not once!
Today the city is still claimed by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities, and as a state capital it is not recognized by the international community and considered to be an occupied city by the United Nations. Nevertheless it has become a world famous destination for pilgrims of the three monotheist religions that have chronologically developed and lived there to date. Light plays a significant role in all three religions. In Judaism, Gold is the symbol of the divine or celestial light, “Shesh” (white) is the symbol of physical and intellectual purity, being the true colour of light. For Christians, God is the light of the world; the three kings would have not found Jesus if they had not followed the star of Bethlehem. In Christianity, light is therefore regarded as a source of guidance and trust. Fire, especially in the form of a candle flame, represents both the Holy Spirit and light. In Islam, light is a symbol of knowledge and faith.
Islam also venerates the colour green, since paradise is seen as being full of lush greenery. Light certainly represents a very meaningful concept for each of the religions, and creating a lighting masterplan for the Old City of Jerusalem and its surroundings needed to consider how to enhance the co-existing cultural activities […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 82.

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