Sport & Leisure Complex, Sassa
Competition winning entry / August 2010
Kibbutz Sasa is an extraordinary place. Layers of the ancient settlement which are intelligently incorporated into the texture of the kibbutz’s landscape create a living environment with unique characteristics.
This living environment is made up of a fabric that combines seemingly opposite extremes: old and new, building development and landscaping, natural and domestic. As a result of this unusual combination, Kibbutz Sasa is spectacularly beautiful and seems to sprout from its natural environment.
On a map of the kibbutz, the old sport facility appears as a strip sitting along the edge of the property, from with views of Mount Meron and the Upper Galilee. The facility’s elongated shape originates from ground’s development into cleared units of land – terraces – that are relatively limited due to their depth dimensions and the kibbutz’ outlook on planning the center and natural areas. A status report of the existing area itself, along whose length the functions are scattered: an event hall on one end, tennis courts on the other and a swimming pool in the middle emphasize the problematic nature of dispersion across the length of a narrow strip of land.
The approach to a planning procedure was purposely developed to optimally answer the members’ current modern needs, along with a strict adherence to preserving the unique character of Kibbutz Sasa’s “fabric”.
Accordingly, a proposal plan was developed that would add new features to the complex (such as spa, gym, therapeutic pool, event garden and so forth) while upgrading the existing elements. Using surgical architectural intervention along with an intelligent manipulation of topography, we establish new connections between the scattered utilities to create a new center with distinct substance.
The plan simultaneously changes the disadvantage of the site’s long structure into a significant advantage by turning the currently unused area into an inviting side wall with a peripheral running and walking track and attractive grassy lawns. This wall facilitates the creation of an experiential leisurely connecting path that looks out over the view. The path leads from the entrance area to sports hall, along the length of the pool. It continues over to the garden proposed for the area between the pool and tennis courts, which is planned for both daily use and for hosting events. This path extends to circle around the tennis courts and connects to the building’s lower level, where the fitness room and various other functions are located.