Between Kiryat Atta and Shefaram lies an undeveloped tract of land that I chose for this project. It is between 500 and 1000 meters wide and up to 3 kilometers long. Its boundaries are marked by the edges of the surrounding cities – Kiryat Atta to the west and Shefaram to the east.
Across the middle of the undeveloped strip stretches Route 70, with Somekh interchange to the south and Evlayim Junction to the north. The highway separates the two cities and marks their boundary.
The project addresses this divided interim area, a space that raises questions about the nature of the boundary as well as how these two cities meet. What are the barriers and the relations in this place? Whom does this boundary serve and whom does it harm? Finally, how can one reinterpret this boundary? Planning in this site poses challenges in terms of the relations between infrastructure and nature, between city and village and between different sectors in the Israeli population.
The project proposes developing the strip from both sides of the highway, for uses that include dwelling, trade, medical services and agriculture. Such development would create a new urban texture with the power to foster productive relations between the cities, while meeting the needs of each town and appreciating its history and manner of development.
The hospital and commercial street are linear in order to encourage movement beneath the highway and between the cities, thus negating the highway’s effect as a boundary and making it a place for encounters.
The buildings are integrated with the agricultural character of the landscape and hence the nature is interweaved with the built-up fabric, which gives the city the qualities of a village. There is symbiosis between the various uses and users, fed by the agricultural lifestyle which is the economic engine of the place. The connection to the earth is demonstrated in the dwellings being close to the ground, in trade of harvests and in the dispersed structure of the hospital – all of which promote continuous interaction with the outside and encourage a healthy lifestyle for body and soul.