Text description provided by the architects. Initiated by The Jerusalem Development Authority, this project stemmed from winning the Design Competition Of The Jerusalem Open Space and Governmental Area in 2008. The background for the competition was the lack of a central urban park that would serve as a "green lung" and a place for diverse activities; a space that would form educated synthesis and maximal interaction between government institutes, culture, recreation and leisure for both local citizens and guests. The project's site covers over 170 acres and is located near the capital center of Israel: the Knesset, the Supreme Court and Kiryat Hamemshala (the government buildings compound). The park holds high potential. It hosts many activities, but they are separate, specific and lack context and continuous connection between the various elements in the site. The directive was to propose a "local language" without harming its identity and by amplifying its "Jerusalemness".
Our project does not deal with planning a defined structure. It aims to study, expose and understand the issues of planning in the Sacker Park site, focusing on the question of what kind of intervention would be suitable for this site in order to turn it into a lively point in city life. The open space defined by this project creates a landscape system that allows the masses, locals and tourists, to enjoy its beauty.
Our design concept laid on the following principles:
- Utilize the natural park topography
- Follow the language of the Jerusalem wadies (dry valleys)
- No reduction of ground surface
- Create solar energy by photovoltaic cells
The coffee shop is part of the overall vision of planning the entire space with the intention of rebranding Sacker Park as a modern and active urban space by building a coffee shop and an amphitheater for public events.
The project also proposes the development of a promenade overlooking the park. The promenade takes part in establishing a structure that connects and rearranges the landscape, and sets an infrastructure for future development.
The inspiration for the promenade, which faces east and allows an actual architectural linkage between the old city and the western modern one, draws from the image of Jerusalem over the generations and research of the natural topographical data. In order to reveal the urban solution that both characterizes and preserves the image of Jerusalem, we tried to expose the original surface conditions and read them following the natural topography of the wadies.
Furthermore, the project adheres to green building principles- the energy required for operating the coffee shop is produced by solar cells that roof the sitting area.
The coffee shop is the first milestone of the proposed project, completed in September 2018