Community Center & Library, Rehovot
The Community Center and Library are planned as part of a complex of public,educational, and commercial buildings in the "New Rehovot" neighborhood. The complex is located in the center of a residential neighborhood with typically high rise construction. The various programs of the complex form a series of fences which demarcate the site on its two sides — the north and east, and have their backs to it, creating a condition almost totally lacking in context:the direct physical passage between the different buildings is blocked, as is the view, which falls on the fences and railings surrounding the School in the east and the Country-Club sports facility in the north. Although open to the view,the two other sides:south and west, are actually bordered by wide roads,which also serve as the main access roads to the complex.
The buildings placement on site creates a continuous, welcoming connection between the access area to the complex from the south-west— namely the roads,and the public running track which enters from the north-east between the school’s fences and the Country Club sports facility. This creates an inviting public space and semi-internal courtyard from which the main entrances to the buildings are located.The buildings were designed to have a spectacular and iconic lookdespite their simplicity and low construction costs. The buildings are cladded with light stone with vertical spacers(the sides are built of concrete walls or industrial pre-casts cladded with stone), and at varying distances along the facade,in correspondence with the arrangement of the building interior program,there are open "slots"– simple curtain walls with back-set profiles and with windows that can be opened as required.
The glass panes in the screen walls will include a bright ceramic fritting,to help provide rooms with a sense of privacy and prevent 50% of the direct sunlight entering from outside,thereby improving the building’s internal climateand environmental qualities. The bright appearance of the glass will reduce the contrast between the glass and the stone, contributing to a reading of the structure as a monolithic object.
Fifth Facade: because the site is surrounded by high rise towers which look down on the structures, special emphasis will also be placed on the appearance of the buildings from above. The roof is designed to be a continuation of the facades to enhance its reading as a monolithic object. These will be a simple, low-cost element such as perforated metal, in order to conceal air conditioning equipment as required. These elements have been developed as a continuation of the stone walls and accordingly the spaces between them are a continuation of the "slots"& will serve as ventilation for the mechanical systems on the roof. Below these elements there will be a simple, waterproofed roof with simple gravel as a finish.
Creating an open, active public space:an inviting public plaza will be created between the buildings, where visitors can enjoy the pleasant shade of the trees. The café activities can be extended to the outer plaza,which will supplement the plaza’s attractiveness as an active public space, a neighborhood focal point.
At the northern part of the site (north of the library building)landscaping includes planters, grass, and a children’s playground. This activity area will be far enough from the quiet zones of the library to avoid creating a nuisance,and on the other hand, it will bring added value to the complex and contribute to the quality of life of neighborhood residentsand visitors to the library and community center.
At the southern part, near the community center structure, andcreating a direct continuation of the public passage and planned running track,we propose to create an outdoor fitness facility zone for the residents, to reinforce the planned use of the running track and complex as a focal attraction, and provide a sport activity area.
Design team: Asaf Lerman, Tammy Yaniv, Nimrod Schenkelbach, Maya Faran