When I visited Tel Aviv in April 2019, I found a very different looking Dizengoff Square to the one I photographed back in 2016. I’m not going to write about the history here. There is Wikipedia for the fact curious. I’m just going to share some images and my personal view.
So when I came back in 2019, I found the square back to its street level and roundabout origin. Back in 2016 it was still elevated separating traffic and pedestrians. From a practical point of view the elevation had benefits: there is always heavy traffic in the center of Tel Aviv which might have been the original reason to separate. However, the heavy looking concrete pedestrian platform changed the look of the square drastically.
While I really liked the old Fire and Water Fountain, I believe it was risky to add the seventies style platform to the one of the major points of Tel Aviv’s White City. The elevated view also took away a part of the historic buildings surrounding the square.
I guess the new design “answers” many of these debatable style questions. It seems to make more sense and it fits the character of the square. The place feels more airy, open and connected. I’m not sure how Tel Avians think about the new but old street level design but for me it was just right ridding the square of tons of ugly concrete.
Finally, here are a couple of words about the images. I admit I like the 6×6 frames with a horizontally limited pane. It forces to focus on shapes and pattern instead of grant views. It’s about the interception of vertical and horizontal lines as well as bright lights and deep shadows deflecting from the allover design.
While the panorama images want to capture the opposite: the busy urban city square connected to all directions and still a place to linger. Maybe color images might do well here but then again, the challenge is to be able to see the world in back and white.
Pictures taken in 2016 are done with a Hasselblad 500CM on Rollei 400s Retro and developed in Rodinal. The 2019 images were taken with a Noblex medium format panorama camera on Fomapan 100 developed in Spur SLD.
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