Family ties in the Arab communities are strong; they are evident in their way of life and ways of providing shelter and housing for their immediate family. Intimate family life has called for smaller spaces, with adjacent living areas differentiated by separate entrances for each home. This situation preserves the feeling of living with one’s immediate family while maintaining common open spaces for meetings.
Thus, the building process was driven by need rather than form or function. That is, the need to live next door to the immediate family in Arab communities has led to the densification of villages and towns. However, each addition has minimized the open public spaces in neighborhoods, creating the existing natural structure of the urban fabric.
The case of Kafr Kanna reflects this but is more unique. On the one hand, the village has vast open lands, but on the other hand, they are agricultural lands that serve the citizens’ economic and cultural wealth. Kanna also incorporates a broad main street that expands on a substantial portion of land intended for vehicle transportation. The street splits the town in two, limiting pedestrian circulation from one side of the village to the other.
A proposed new housing typology offers experimental highly densified residencies with little to no parcellation while providing inhabitants with private and shared open spaces. The new housing typology soars above the existing road, coalescing the former into the existing urban fabric and utilizing the latter as a site for residential development without using any farmland.
The project aims to meet the need for residential development while preserving the existing agricultural lands from future building developments. In addition, the project seeks to reduce vehicle circulation through the main road so it can continue to serve as a public and financial spine for Kafr Kanna.