Urban Dune

Urban Dune

Rishon LeZion

Proposal for the planning and development of the public spaces aligning the malls in Rishon LeTzion. The strategic location of the Boulevard and its proximity to many diverse functions such as commerce, leisure, education, residential and office spaces creates an exceptional potential for turning it into a vibrant and active public space capable of operating throughout the day and night and addressing the various populations visiting and residing nearby.

The proposal, “Urban Dune”, offers a wide range of programs and activities that allow for great flexibility in terms of use. With maximum consideration for the human scale absent from the site today, the proposed design creates a new urban topography that holds various spatial configurations and urban spaces of varying scale. The three-dimensional language of the proposal is based on a morphological analysis of the neighboring dunes surrounding the site, which populated the area in the past. These dunes constitute the natural roots from which Rishon LeTzion grew, and they are a unique component integral to the historical and environmental identity of the city. The three-dimensional attributes of these natural sand hills and their topographic flow are translated into a formality that defines the new spaces in the site. This formal morphology makes it possible to create a coherent, urban space that maintains the continuity and uniform language that characterizes the design, while on the other hand creates local situations that can contain specific activities of human scale.Through a parametric design process based on advanced digital tools, existing and potential walking paths were processed in order to identify the main focal points of the site. These centers are based on the amount and intensity of users, while also providing the optimal response in terms of distances and times of walking around the site. The use of walking times as a planning parameter allows the site to be divided into different activity areas whose programmatic uses and characteristics take into account the contextual elements and their proximity to the target audience that will use them. For example, in the vicinity of the future stations of the light rail, centers with a stronger public identity have been established, while in the areas adjacent to the residential neighborhoods more community and family oriented centers have been established. The diversity created by the morphological uniqueness of the planning language enables a wide range of spaces to be expressed in three-dimensional streets that range from public exposure to communal intimacy, urban balconies that allow wide views of the distant landscape and convergence around green courtyards, wide squares for mass gathering along with points for meetings between individuals. Thus, this new urban space does not impose itself through an accurate definition of the various activities that are supposed to take place there, but rather supports the flexibility and versatility that allows users to take advantage of its various qualities while adapting them to their many needs.The use of the three-dimensional language of the dunes contributes to the creation of a formative space that enables self-shading in many areas. This self-shading contributes to minimizing radiation during the summer months and to maintaining a pleasant shaded space during this period. The design used parametric optimizations in order to examine the various formal possibilities and how they contributed to minimizing radiation. In addition, shading and natural vegetation are used in order to further reduce the amount of radiation and to allow continuous use and activity of people at the site throughout the year, thus improving the experience of the place. In accord with the planned LRT system the number of parking spaces in the area was significantly reduced and they were distributed according to the different areas and the amount of activity in them. The removal of parking spaces also contributes greatly to minimizing the phenomenon of urban heat islands in the entire area. The versatility of the three-dimensional planning language allows maximum freedom for implementing the design in stages, whether by planning the longitudinal strips or by executing segments of the plan in other divisions according to the changing and growing needs of the city.


Client: Rishon LeTzion Municipality

Lot Area: 22,000 m2
Phase: Concept

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