Designed by AL/Arch, “the REAL estate temporary private spaces” was designed to become an alternative public space at the edge of the freeway in Bat-Yam, Israel. Resembling a perforated drape, the new public park mitigates an awkward edge condition which allows private actions to exist in the public domain.
Edge conditions in urban cities often create neglected public spaces that attract temporal activities of various kinds for a wide spectrum of people. ”the REAL estate” project offers a new typology for public space that examines the boundaries between public and private domains in the urban landscape.
The site is located in the city of Bat-Yam, a Mediterranean city one of the most densely populated inIsrael. Most of the residents live in modern housing projects that were built in the fifties for new immigrants. The project is situated at the end of a wide modernist residential street that unexpectedly terminates by a massive concrete wall that functions as an acoustic barrier for a crossing highway. This edge condition is the caused for a long strip of neglected “junk” space which is used by the local residents for dumping trash, bonfire spots for Lag BaHomer (a Jewish holiday), drug activities, walking dogs, and other illicit behavior.
The project’s main façade to the residential street is a see-through wall with a wooden entry gate to an outdoor room lying between the existing barrier wall and the new wall. Both are at the same height but one is obstructive and the other is inviting. Bold pink neon sign written; “the REAL estate”, suggesting that the real assets of dense urban cities are outdoor public spaces.
The surface of the park is laid with a continuous fabric formed concrete “blanket” that wraps over the existing acoustic barrier wall. The continuous surface starts on a man-made horizontal landscape and changes gradually to a sloped vertical wall. In this surface are seven cut-out wood niches that perform as intimate private spaces in the public urban landscape. Each niche takes the form of the human body as a single, couple or a group.