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Urban Renewal Mercaz Hacarmel, Haifa

Haifa has a distinct urbanity that feature the intense urban flow with the breaks in continuity caused by the presence of nature. In Mercaz Hacarmel (Carmel Center) we found the best potential to the embodiment of this kind of urbanity.

The Carmel center today operates on a linear axis that constitutes the main URBAN AXIS in the Carmel Mountain and the WATERSHED LINE drawn on the whole ridge. From and to this line attached are wadis, mountain extensions, neighborhood, and many routes. In the center itself, the building adjacent to the street creates a wall - a boundary and behind it, a world of in between spaces, wadi landscape routes and views. Our aim was to extend the center on a grid, composed from passages and cores with diverse characteristics and different intensity that constitute a part of the reciprocal relations between the two forces: NATURE VERSUS URBAN.

The project offers to amplify the characteristics of the two forces, while the contrast between them intensifies the qualities of each. The amplifying of the forces will be made by dealing with the in between spaces, the main urban axis (Hanassi Blvd.) will have a major addition of buildings, and in the same time, some of the built volume will be subtracted, in order to change and re-define new urban proportions and opening GATES TO THE SPACE BEHIND THE BUILDINGS. These spaces, will get a proper treatment in order to define them as public spaces with variable intensity.

The project was issued as a proposal to Haifa's municipal competition for urban renwel.

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