Station 5, by architect Ariel Noyman (AnArchiX), is the finalist submission to the competition ‘Water Tower- new perspectives’ that was organized by the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Berkeley University and the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS) in 2010.
The design will be hosted in the city’s first water tower (1920′s) situated in the town square, next to municipality buildings and primary urban institutions. It will be a key point in the tour and will offer a variety of educational and cultural activities, while functioning as a lookout and leisure attraction in the central city location of Israel. More images and architect’s description after the break.
On the entry level, the lower water pool will be diverted into exhibition space displaying the history of the local site and the city. The open gap of concrete columns between the lower and the upper pool will be converted into a vertical garden, holding observation shafts and explanations points. The upper concrete pool cylinder will host lectures and movies; a wide porch will offer panoramic view for distance; the rooftop of the tower will function as a cafeteria during day and night.
“…The icon is an expression of the tree shipping its fruits to the different directions, as a symbol of industrial enterprise branches. It demonstrates the economic foundation, growth and development of the town in recent years.” (A press release describing the city symbol design, 1960′s)
Lacking any natural icons and environmental references, absorbed the young community its highest building to act as the main element in their official symbol, while decorating it with the 1960′s town products – orange trees and industrial works. Today, the fields of oranges became a prosperous real estate sources, and the industrial era was substitute for a clean semiconductor parks. Those concrete sentries, who were a source of pride shrouded with technological symbolism, left neglected on top of the town hills, hardly justifying their existence by water supplying to their built environment.
Yet it seems that the symbolic choices of the logo designer , passes the test of time; though the city grown and expanded, the old water tower is still among the highest and most prominent among this city buildings.
A new plan now being promoted for the City Hall square, will move the municipality functions to a new location, while causing additional depreciation to the importance of that triangle of public buildings – the old city hall, the first and central synagogue and the water tower. As a programmatic alternative, the old City Hall building will be offered as the city history museum.
Within the urban and the local scale, Station 5 project proposes a rethinking to the fading essentially of the water facilities serving the city. In the urban scale, the project seeks to spread the city history museum program across seven municipal water facilities – some currently abandoned and others were replaced by modern systems. Every station will store different layer of the city story and documentation, according to the station placement; hence, an abandoned accumulation pool situated at an orchards field will be converted to the city agricultural station; a water tower within a residential area will serve as a record of the city population growth and as a database for its habitants. A marked bike route, which is partly exists, will serve the traffic between those stations, and bicycle pairs would be loaned to serve the travelers.
During the years the concrete facades of this tower became a carrier for network infrastructure and electricity systems and as a huge canvas for urban vandalism experiments, despite its central location in the heart of the main street. Along with the programmatic revival of the tower, the project wishes to offer a new outfit the city’s old servant; The light skin made of metal nets stretched across the tower facade, will be covered with climbing vegetation creating a climate solution to the vertical garden within the building torso. The new facade will maintain the historical symbol of the city as an urban landmark while arousing a fresh and modern appearance to it.