Maxima Air Separation Company, Mitzpe Ramon, 1977.
The idea of using color-graphics on a large scale came to me – in a flash – in the early 60’s, while visiting a new settlement consisting of over a hundred identical small houses inhabited by immigrants from North Africa. I found the bleak monotony of this site in the Negev desert depressing. The inhabitants, accustomed to the colorful markets of Algiers and Marrakesh, must have felt the same. I suddenly imagined those houses painted in different colors – with basic geometric shapes – creating a vibrant colorful environment. I made a note of the concept in my diary, but did not act upon it until the right opportunity presented itself.
On my first visit to New York in 1967, I have seen some painted facades on buildings. The term ‘Supergraphics’ entered the general lexicon and reinforced the validity of my earlier idea of the ‘painted village’ in the Negev.
Along with the established international color-coding in the chemical industry, the Maxima plant is the result of this process.
See original sketches at Centre Pompidou design and architecture collection