Location: 48 Rashi St. Tel-Aviv
client : The Tel-Aviv Foundation
completion date : 1988
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The day center for the senior citizens is located at the heart of Tel Aviv, an area of historic value, featuring buildings dated from the 1920’s and onwards. These buildings possess calmness and simplicity, qualities and spirit that I aspired to preserve in the design of the new center, and thus create an island of tranquility within the busy metropolis of Tel-Aviv.

First and foremost I wanted the center to inspire the feeling of home, not of an institution.

The day center was designed to provide social and cultural services as well as occupation to the elderly population in the area.
The patterns chosen for the project (See A Pattern Language/ Alexander 1979) which helped to create it included: Main Entrance Gate, Site Repair , South (sun) Facing Outdoor , Building Complex, Wings of Light , Entrance Transition, A Living Courtyard, Positive Outdoor Spaceetc.

All the planning decisions regarding the site plan as a whole and each of its buildings were made on the site itself. The final plan was an outcome of the interaction between the various patterns chosen for the project and the living reality of the site.

I chose to locate the main entrance gate to the site between two eucalyptus trees that formed a natural gate.
Behind the gate there is a large entrance courtyard that forms a graceful transition between the street and the building complex. That courtyard, like all other outdoor areas, was not just a “left over” in between the buildings, but an entity with a positive quality, carefully designed as an inseparable part of the layout of the buildings. The sense of enclosure was generated by its well-defined boundaries, formed by the buildings’ facades on the one side and the pergolas with the benches on the other.
The feeling of vivacity in the courtyard emanates from the pathways crossing it as well as from the lively dialogue with the indoor activities made possible by the doors and windows that open onto it.

The center was not designed as one building, but as a complex of buildings, connected by arcades and trellised walks. Each wing was designed as an arm that embraces the outdoors, thus allowing the daylight to penetrate into all its floor areas. Each wing serves a different activity, and is clearly distinguished by its distinct structural elements.

The colored thresholds and well defined framed openings between the different wings help both to separate and connect them, while emphasizing the sense of passing from one space to another.
As for example, the roof of the entrance hall is distinguished from the other roofs, clearly visible from the entrance courtyard. Its ceiling is convex and high and its floor tiles are white, decorated with black, as against the flat ceiling and yellow tiles of the other rooms.
Stepping in from the main entrance door, a view of the back garden is offered through the room.
Glazed doors open onto the back garden, leading to an arcade that gradually connects the main building both to the garden and to the dining room at its side.
The inner garden was built where an old and tall pine tree stands. Its exact boundaries – the location of the arcade, the dining room and the vine trellis walks - were drawn by a process of approaching the tree and going away from it, so as to allow the tree the necessary living space it needed.




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