Location: Neighborhood IUD, Mevaseret, Jerusalem
client : Arim development Company
design phase : 1990

The site designated for this residential neighborhood was spread over the terraces on the hill facing the entrance road to Jerusalem. The project included some 60 plots on which one family units or duplex houses were to be built at different times, by individual buyers.

My task was to prepare a set of building codes that would establish the layout of the streets, the size and boundaries of the plots, the location of the built areas on each plot, the size and height of the houses, and the types of building materials.

Here an attempt was made to propose a dynamic planning process that would establish abstract common planning rules (instead of a fixed plan) relating to the structure of the neighborhood as a whole, the structure of each plot and the house itself, so that like in traditional villages, although the houses might look different, and so will the neighborhood as a whole, they will “speak” the same language.
Each stage of construction, whether a street or a house, will be guided by the common rules, interacting with the physical reality that would develop on the site itself at that time.
The abstract common patterns that were established at different sites with varied environmental conditions ultimately produced the variety of forms and houses and the non-uniformity of the different parts of the neighborhood.

Along the topographic lines, a main boulevard was drawn which bisected the neighborhood. Intersecting with it were the secondary roads that led the pedestrians from inside the neighborhood to the forest along its boundaries. The route of the boulevard and the smaller paths was established while walking through the area, attempting to follow the paths that had been trodden by the villagers prior to our arrival.

The exact location of the built area on the plot and the location of the outdoor spaces were determined on the basis of very definite criteria: allowing the southern sun to penetrate the house through the garden, leaving open spaces exposed to the scenery and allocating the part of the site where the incline was relatively moderate for the gardens.
The relative size of the built space and open garden area on each plot, as well as their interrelation with the street, changed from one plot to another, according to the character we wished to attribute to any specific street or lane.

The boundaries of each plot stemmed from the layout of the building and were drawn accordingly.
This kind of a planning process produced a non-standard and organic shape of plots, in harmony with the natural terrain.
On the whole the intention was to echo the spirit of the beautiful villages built through the ages at the outskirts of Jerusalem, close to this neighborhood.