Kibbutz Sasa has in recent years been in a combined development boom that includes a significant expansion of the existing residential fabric and the restoration of a number of key buildings that form part of the original kibbutz fabric such as the dining room, club, and more. In this context, ministries were invited to submit a proposal for a competition for the restoration and development of the kibbutz's old sports complex (which we won in 2009) and later also for a competition for the renovation of youth residences bordering the northeastern wig of the original kibbutz (2011).
This is a cluster of 3 identical 3-story buildings, including 36 units that were originally designed by the technical department of the national kibbutz and have always been used for the residence of young people, aged 19-30 from the kibbutz. Since the outer corridors of the living floors were exposed to the weather due to its extreme fluctuations (snow, the kibbutz 900 meters above sea level, up to Hamsin), the kibbutz asked the architects for proposals to close the facades in order to provide weather protection.
On a tour of the place we saw that the old buildings functioned as a collection of bedrooms only without a common public space. Sofas, coffee tables and other items we found scattered in the corridors revealed to us that social life had “migrated” out of the rooms themselves into these elongated common spaces in search of a space suitable for social interaction.
The lack of such a space immediately signaled to us that the limited definition set by the kibbutz for protection against weather damage also entails the opportunity to complete the social dimension absent from the buildings. Accordingly our proposal to close the façade was designed as an independent (and "parasitic" - self-sustaining) spatial and programmatic system at a depth of one meter "dressed" on the floor ends of the original building. This system is made of exposed concrete and is designed from a number of moves that are repeated in a changing pattern and create a catalog of situations that occur on, and within the facade itself; Low seating (like a sofa) with inward looking, sitting on a counter looking out, storage (fridge and more).
As a result of this action the closed corridors become social spaces that encourage interaction in the common space added to each floor. The relationships between the buildings themselves, which could previously be defined as 'indifferent', as a result of their random positioning, also become interactive in light of the activity's turning to facades facing each other and the development of the space between them. The use of bamboo for horizontal seating surfaces or vertical storage surfaces adds another layer of materiality and gives the project a personal and unique expression in the kibbutz's stone-building landscape.