ZION SQUARE

Jerusalem, Israel (2016)

3rd prize winner - open competition

הילה חבקין אדריכלים havkin architects
הילה חבקין אדריכלים havkin architects
הילה חבקין אדריכלים havkin architects
הילה חבקין אדריכלים havkin architects
הילה חבקין אדריכלים havkin architects
Zion Square, between 1934-1946
Zion Square, between 1934-1946

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Zion Square, between 1934-1946
Zion Square, between 1934-1946

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PLC_Mosaic Stars
PLC_Mosaic Stars
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Red carpet
Red carpet

A red carpet is associated with notion that Zion square is the living room of modern Jerusalem

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Modern technology
Modern technology

The Light-Tram in Jerusalem

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Old
Old

Ancient city of Jerusalem

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Modern bridge in Jerusalem
Modern bridge in Jerusalem
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Tolerance
Tolerance

Different communities exist next to each other

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Divercity
Divercity

The Market in Jerusalem

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Traditional
Traditional

Jerusalem stone

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Zion square now
Zion square now

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Zion square now
Zion square now

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הילה חבקין אדריכלים havkin architects

The ground floors are occupied with coffee shops which are using the pedestrian area as well as the trees and their shade for sitting, leaving no alternative sitting options for the public.

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There is not enough shade so each coffe shop is putting its own means of shade.

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The shops along the street cause people to walk slower looking at the windows rather than at the road. Also the space infrot of the shops becomes an entryway and most people would avoid walking there.

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There is no bicycle lane, and people are riding on the tram line risking causing an accident. The tourist routs along Yaffo street are on a relatively flat terrain which provides

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הילה חבקין אדריכלים havkin architects

Although the competition limits itself to Zion Square, we believe there is greater value in the development of a coherent plan for all of Yafo Street and how it interacts with its adjacent urban spaces. We see many rewarding opportunities outside the competition area of utilising Yafo Street’s potential. But for now, we happily developed a concept just for Zion Square.

In terms of “destination”, we choose to maximise the experience of the square until the limits of the surrounding buildings. As a result of this, a disturbing unbalance between street and square, that exists until today will subsequently be resolved. It also creates a situation in which more commercial m2 will border directly to the square. In our design-conver- sation we like to see Yafo Street as a necklace with Zion Square being one of its precious beads. We give priority to the square above the street. That is, crossing Zion Square (by foot or by light train) becomes a landmark event. 

Jerusalem Patchwork 

The square consists of colourful patches with which we want to express (on an abstract level) that it belongs to all of the many communities that together form the people of Jerusalem.
Zion Square is traditionally also the home of the less fortunate and those who want to contribute to political dialogues. We believe that this is of great value and that the layout of the square should support various kinds of activities alongside each other. We believe, on the other hand, that Jerusalem as a city, has outgrown Zion Square as the appropriate location for mass happenings. In our design-conversation we choose to enhance the square as urban living room, intimate, complete with street furniture. It hosts people of all kinds, in the most respectable way.

Lake of Mosaic

At the base of the design is a lake of precious mosaic that marks the lowest point in Yafo Street. Existing differences in heights allow us getting an overview already from far ahead. We want any traveler in Yafo Street to get impacted by its sparkling colours, cutting edges and lyric lines. By creating a contrasting and colourful focal point, we enhance the awareness of the spectator of his position in the urban space. He will see how perspective develops towards the square.

Ben Yehuda Street also descends down to Zion Square. We like to see it as a cascade that deposits its sediments on the square. We want its specific qualities to make a local impact on the layout of Zion Square. We express this in the balance of colours, vista lines and elevated areas.

Zion Square is rooted in the collective memory of all Jerusalem people. Warm sentiments are connected to evenings of entertainment in former Zion Cinema, Cafe Europe or other nearby venues. Many are the black/white vintage pictures that show people on a romantic evening out.

New urban developments, like high-end residential and fine hotels create the conditions for Zion Square to revive its historic functions. Our mosaic square marks a red carpet around which hospitality related enterprises will emerge. We vision brasseries that unroll their terraces and serve their guests with fine food.

Architecture :

Hilla Havkin

Hristiyana Vassileva

Peter P. Ausems