Resting in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City is Hezekiah’s Pool, standing empty of water and to which access is blocked – three dunams of barren and neglected space within a walled, crowded and tightly packed city where the struggle for every piece of land intensifies. In the past, before the city was connected to the modern water infrastructure, irrigating Jerusalem and providing water for its inhabitants constituted an awesome challenge, in light of the city’s climate and topographical conditions. Despite the fact that the city’s population was diverse and conflict-stricken, this particular challenge transcended religion, race and gender, with residents coming together for the sake of creating a shared water infrastructure. The water infrastructure, and Hezekiah’s Pool within it, offered a meeting place for various sectors of the population – all of whom needed water to survive. Thus, the rhythm of daily life overpowered divisive ideologies.
The years-long history of the city has saturated it with monuments. As such, the city is replete with diverse ideologies, which dictate its routine – beginning with the subsistence radius of its inhabitants and ending with the attraction of tourists from all around the world. Daily life in the city was subordinated, with basic living space – where opportunity could exist for neutral, “secular” encounters – becoming scarce.
This project examines the possibility of revitalizing the abandoned pool and bringing the local population back to this public space – as in the past.