Location: 48 Rashi St.
client : The Tel-Aviv Foundation
completion date : 1988
(in Hebrew 13.4 Mb)
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 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
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.