Quarter Kilometer Block building
Lotem Hamama, NB Haifa School of Design
From a “Quarter Kilometer Block building” to a quarter of a city block – a newly textured mosaic creation, that gives an iconic building a renewed interpretation; taking into consideration it’s typological rich urban-desert environment.
The city of Beer Sheba is known as the capital of the Brutalist architecture. The site most identified with brutalism is a quarter kilometer long block building within the HE-neighborhood. It was built as part of an architectural experiment during the 1950s.
The dimensions and inner order of the block, its location, the dominance of the building and the function it serves, represents the socialist ideology during the settlement of Israel, which canceled the uniqueness of the individual within society. Opposite the Block was built the “Carpet Project” a group of relatively small cottages with walkways in-between. The relationship between these two doesn’t implement the vision inspired for it.
This project seeks to adjust and adapt the Quarter Kilometer Block’s surroundings according to relevant current design approaches, allows the person to be in the center, free to choose his environment and style of living. The building will be infused with a new context while taking into consideration the socio economic changes and aspects of the climate in the Negev.
The design language refers to three dimensions of change within the public space:
- Function – transforming the Quarter-Kilometer Block into a common public space with many diverse services for the community.
- Assimilation the building in the public spaces and using the empty and abandoned areas surrounding it.
- Maintaining continuous traffic flow in the public domain, a central traffic route, connecting different areas of the neighborhood.
The building in the renewed context restores the neighborhood to its former glory and fills the holes between the different parts of the experiment, left in a neighborhood with no identity.