Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Site specific

Choosing a site in this vast emptiness, or appearance of, is not obvious. It is tempting to look for an existing urban form to intervene with. However, the thesis is concerned with how infrastructural systems can be stretched to provide an added economic value (energy export) while creating a renewed sense of community. It appears that the best strategy to achieve this would be to start with a 'tabula rasa'. The determining variables will then be the existing large scale infrastructure, natural or man-made. The site considered is the intersection of wadi Pharan and Road 40. Pharan is an ancient watershed, the largest in the Negev, which is today dry most days of the year. During rare rainfalls it overflows, draining the entire Negev Plateau. Road 40 is bisects the desert connecting its northern node Beer-Sheva, with the southern one Eilat. This road functions as a life line for all the Negev's communities, connecting them to the electrical grid and the national water carrier. They both meet in the very center of the Negev, a distance of approximately an hour away from any other populated settlement. Following is a closer examination of the four potential sites and their relationship to the Wadi and the road: