Yoav Orion

City of Collective Future

The project aims at allowing the city of Haifa to face its intercontinental History. Rereading texts of  Canaanism, and Amos Kenan more specifically, I tried to examine its relevance for the 21st century conflicting Israeli context. The research-by-design process started by producing new maps reflecting Kenan’s writings. Further on I dealt with generic Mediterranean urban typologies, such as wheat mill by a creek and a school. With these in hands, I turned to observe Wadi Salib (Salib Valley) as a site for the project. The urban-historic background of the valley shed light on the unfortunate life and death of it. Wadi Salib had vital and particular characters that made it into a significant piece in the then-rich urban fabric of Haifa. The demolition of it in the late 1960’s buried with it the urban knowledge that was manifested in it and all the political injustice that led to its destruction. Today, half a decade after its destruction, and while it’s relatively empty, new initiatives of development are planned for the site of Wadi Salib. Those initiatives tend to further cover the sore memory that is charged into the empty Wadi space. At this point, the project offers a dam strategy for the city of Haifa. By blocking the spread of Haifa further into the Wadi. Even though through the eyes of a real estate agent, the Wadi can look like a promising opportunity, I claim that Haifa doesn’t suffer of a lack of land reserves, thanks to the spatial wastefulness that manifested itself in the planning of modern Haifa. The two sides of the dam assign a meaning to one another. By intensifying the surroundings of Wadi Salib, the emptiness of it is ever stronger and vice-versa. On the dam plateau, a new urban scale public space is created, allowing the city to celebrate itself and witness its history from a new collective perspective. The building of the dam was planned as two different building writhing one around another and colliding. One is coming out of the Wadi setting foot in the neighborhood of Hadar, across the road, and the other is coming out of the neighborhood of Hadar, ending inside the Wadi.

Tutors: Dr. Arch. Yossi Klein, Arch. Ahmad Kharouf