Proposition for bridge

Date 2012
Location Tel Aviv
Size Ariel Sharon Park

The site on which Ariel Sharon Park is located is vast relatively to other parks in Israel. It holds in it on the one hand a rich and fascinating history both geographic and social; on the other hand, it is beaten, ‘humiliated’ land which served us all as a back yard for years. We would like to name our proposal by the old Hiriya – Good Earth, to return the land its glamour and to accentuate people’s growing consciousness towards the environment.

In our proposal we aim to offer the visitors a gradual, comforting entrance experience and not just a direct route across the Ayalon River. People walking along the foot bridge will be guided with explanations about the park, teaching and enriching them with what the park has to offer and the natural surroundings. The winding shape of the bridge is designed to gradually expose the landscape and direct the attention of the visitor to interesting points of interest – far and near. Several stops along the bridge allow the visitors to rest, to enjoy wild life and vegetation. In contrary to the foot bridge we also believe that the park will become a major attraction for cyclists, we therefore decided to create a special route for service cars and bicycles. Splitting the path in two routes will reduce the general scale of the new intervention and will allow gentle blending of the planned greenery in between.

The two paths start together on a ramp on the north side of the Ayalon. Between the 2 routs, a set of stairs and a ramp lead down to the wadi. The foot path is constructed of a steel lattice structure covered with Cladding from fiber reinforced hybrid material produced from rice husks, salt and mineral oil. This recycled material is resistant to heat, cold, wind and water and it weathers elegantly. The boards are fixed in different angles as soffits, floors, side boards and a shading element inspired by the path of the sun. From the floor of the bridge, a landscaped element challenges and entertains children while walking across and which gradually surfaces into a bench. The rice husk louvers are joined with stretched stainless steel cable mesh balustrade for maximum safety and minimum obstruction of the view. The bicycle path is made of thin and pre cast concrete sections. It is designed without a roof in order to keep its silluette subtle.

The first section of the pedestrian rout leads South-East, where the view is directed to the biological pool, winter pond and lawn. One can also see the Safari and the site of ancient Bnei Brak. Further ahead, the view opens up to the west while the east is gradually blocked by shading louvers. Here the visitor can see the wadi. At one point, above the stream we have located a central viewing platform with seating and wide louvers protecting from direct sunlight most hours of the day. An internal triangular shape created by overlapping of the two bridges defines an internal patch of green land encouraging the visitors to focus their attention on resting while enjoying wildlife and vegetation. The bicycle path crosses over in order not to obstruct the view from the foot bridge. The foot bridge continues south- west, overlooking Menahem Begin Park in the horizon and Mount Hiriya. At the second end of the crossing, another stopping point allows additional descending off the bridge in order to walk by the stream. Otherwise, the foot path turns south-east, to another viewing platform, and then joins with the bicycle path facing Mount Hiriya. The two bridges are supported by thin posts in order to minimize massive intervening with the land. The posts will gradually be covered with vegetation. In the evening the paths will subtly be lit with solar operated recessed lights while the posts disappear in the dark.