Calatrava Obelisk in The Technion, Haifa, Israel

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The “Obelisk” is a recent addition to the main boulevard of the  Thechnion (Israel Institute of Technology) campus, which is located in mountainous city of Haifa. The Obelisk was conceived by the architect, engineer and sculptor Santiago Calatrava, who donated his design to the Technion. The Obelisk is dedicated to the memory of Russel Berrie, a humanitarian, sales entrepreneur and philanthropist.

In the following gallery the Obelisk can be seen in different climatic conditions as well as blending in the campus life and activities.

The obelisk is a kinetik sculpture, which rises to a height of 28 meters (100 feet). It is composed of 224 steel ribs (28 ribs on each one of its eight levels), rotates on its axis and is illuminated at night. A motor is installed on the top level, which rotates the main axis of the sculpture in an elliptical orbit. The movement creates a feeling of a synodic wave and the obelisk appears to “breathe.” Each rib completes a full rotation in about 20 seconds.

“Technion City in Haifa looks like a large park,” stated Calatrava. “The center of the campus is an important place. I designed this vertical kinetic sculpture, which integrates beauty with technique and mechanics, such that it can be seen from every place.”

The initiative grew out of a contribution of $26 million made by the Russell Berrie Foundation for the establishment of the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (RBNI) at the Technion. The Israeli government matched this with an additional $26 million, and Technion Friends from around the world completed the sum for a total of $100 million.


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