Made in the shade with simple, cheap urban design for Tel Aviv

Until you’ve cycled high noon in the Middle East summer you’ll have no idea how incredibly hard it is to live without shade. I live in Jaffa, Israel – a Mediterranean Middle East city that will fry eggs on cars most days of the year. If you dare to venture out during the summer days, you’ll come home covered in a layer of sweat and sunburn.

I dream of shade everywhere I walk, run or cycle and wonder why cities in hot climates don’t make a point to put shade everywhere. Sunny side of the street for me? Nope, I follow the paths that cast shadows from trees or nearby buildings. You get the point.

As we humans grow to understand why we need to make cities walkable, and comfortable, the big issue of shading hot cities is a big one.

Architects building shady, flowery canopies for Hajj got the message. And now, Israel’s Design Museum of Holon started a competition for encouraging architects to develop projects for urban shade.

Winners were Point Supreme Architects, an architecture firm from Athens, Greece.

See the sketches above and below for their winning design Serpantina:  public urban spaces that could be made in the shade.

The design is expected to be built in Tel Aviv, Israel by next year.





urban shade tel aviv


Urban Shade


urban shade

Serpantina is a simple linear element made up of modules of standard metal profiles and sun shading fabrics widely available in the market that can be both easily reproduced, adapted to different locations, transported and assembled on site.

More details:

Project details:

status: competition 1st prize
area: 300 m2
location: Tel Aviv, Israel
structural engineer: Athanassios Kontizas
local architect: Robert Ungar
collaborator: Reineke Otten
client: Beracha Foundation and Design Museum Holon
expected completion: June 2015


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2 thoughts on “Made in the shade with simple, cheap urban design for Tel Aviv”

  1. Seems like an obvious way to mount solar panels, perhaps of different sizes or shapes?

  2. Ra'anan says:

    Solar fans in the ceilings of those shading canopies would make them even better.

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