Project Name: Open-Sided Shelter
Location: Pardesia, Israel
Area: 3,465 sq.ft
Project year: 2014 – 2015
Photographs: Shai Epstein
The shelter, a semi-open structure, provides a space for the meeting of mourners and for the reading of eulogies, prior to and during the burial ceremony. Located adjacent to a cemetery, the building is purposed as a pavilion or an open-sided shelter.
The building consists of two entrances, the smaller of which serves the family of the deceased. The larger entrance is meant for the rest of the mourners, allowing easy access to the expansive structure. One side of the building is kept open to the north. The pavilion is planned in a way that allows the mourners who prefer to be at a distance a feeling of attachment to the proceedings, while being in a shaded space that is not inside the structure itself.
Two exits lead to the burial lots, an easily accessible one and the other via a flight of stairs.
The area housing the pavilion used to be surrounded by orchards which were felled to make way for new commercial and residential building projects. As an ode to this lost rural identity, the studio erected a monument to celebrate the surrounding’s roots that were lost due to the urban redevelopment.
The monument is made of an exposed concrete slab that is represents the growth of construction. This slab is supported by metal pillars that are shaped as trees, a symbol of the orchards that were razed down. An oak tree remains within the structure, its presence being respected as the ceiling above the metal trees has been kept open to foster a dialogue between the living tree and its metal counterparts.
The structure consists of one solid wall to the west that provides shelter from the direct afternoon sunlight, except for what is permitted through the long, narrow window. In the evenings, the pavilion is lit from the inside and out.
A line of concrete in the northern side of the building starts its ascent from the ground from the west side and climbs through the window. It rises to the roof, ceiling and walls, descending finally into the ground – like a man who starts from the dust and returns back to it.
The materials and colour palette used are of monochromatic shades of mainly greys, imparting a sense of cleanliness, sadness and neutrality.
During the design process, the structure was formulated using more than 300 panels of different shapes and sizes, assembled together by computer software. The construction process involved bringing these panels together, along with the metal ‘tree’ structures on the site and compiled by a team of contractors according to the design. All the iron works and the structural designs were approved by the engineers after which the walls were constructed by the remaining pallets. The concrete for the walls and roof was poured in one day.
Design Team: Ron Shenkin studio for architecture and design
– Tanvi Naik, Volume Zero