Community center and arabic childern's library, at the bedouin town Arara in the Negev desert, Israel.
Winner of 2012 design contest by the Israeli Community Centers Association.
We were asked...
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The center is located in the middle of the Negev desert. It serves the nearby town of Arara, along with various nomadic bedouin communities in the area.
We wanted to give the childern of a playground, but the area suffers from a severe epidemic of vandalism. We created durable concrete/sandstone "benches", inspired by the arabic alphabet, so the children can play safely and use their imagination. The "dots" of the arabic letters are now spotlights.
The area is very dry, and grass can't survive there properly, so we paved the piazza with green and blue acryllic material, similar to a tennis court. Now the community center really stands out in the grey and yellow landscape and attracts more visitors.
The center hosts the only arabic children's library in Israel. Bedouin children have the highest rate of illiteracy in the country, so one of the main goal of the project was to raise awareness to the existence of the library. We placed the story-time room in front of the center, so parents, and other visitors can watch the children reading and having fun.
The hallway continues the smooth flow of cool colors from the outside. We wanted the visitor to feel inside a desert oasis, but still retain modern design featurs.