Thesis summary From Patchwork Dwelling to Affordable Housing

Projects by Amos Michael Danilovich Yoav Elad

Neve Shea’nan neighborhood in Tel-Aviv, Israel
Thesis summary From Patchwork Dwelling to Affordable Housing


How do the “informal” systems, existing in Neve Shea’nan neighborhood in Tel-Aviv, become an infrastructure to strengthen the communal identity of the foreign communities?

Neve Shea’nan neighborhood, in our point of view, contains in a very conspicuous way the existence of two parallel networks. The first, a “formal-institutional” network, that was planned ‘from above’ and is compiled from streets, plots, blocks, facades etc. by structured planning principals. The second, an “informal” one, was created by the local inhabitants of the neighborhood, mostly work-migrates, based on the “formal” existing conditions to provide for their changing needs, in a place were the authorities were not able or even not willing to provide.

A - 1200pix

The foreign communities that composes the neighborhood transformed, in an improvised manner, the back yards in the center of the city blocks to a social infrastructure for the different communities. “The ‘Not In My Back Yard’ phenomena that characterizes other neighborhood in Tel-Aviv, does not exists in Neve Shea’nan. It is the back yard of the city, there for, the different in a neighborhood of different people is the normative.”

The term “back yard” that for most people holds a negative connotation, receives a different and even opposite interpretation. The back yards and the inside of redesigned industrial buildings, the hidden places, constitutes for the foreign communities a facade and a center for their social and communal conduct. There for also in the programmatic level, these spaces go through changes and adjustments to the new needs.

B - 1000pix

The need of externalization of the communal institutions, those which give a community its’ identity, conflicts with a reality in which the individuals must maintain a secret lifestyle and even some times hide to protect themselves.

In the project we aspired to create a unique living environment that is dependent on the existing construction and in relation to the “informal” network, in order to strengthen the back yards as a center of that network and as an “open-end” system. This planning that is derived from the reference to the “informal” spaces, creates, in an urban scale, a system that allows expansion and contraction in accordance with future changes.

Amos Danilovich, Yoav Elad











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  1. Would like to see more socialy driven thesis projects, maybe affordable housing will make our cities a better place to live when such a thesis is realized.

  2. Courageous topic, interesting implementation – it is refreshing to see a tailored-made module for socially-challenged parts of Tel Aviv, epically in a time when Tel Aviv is becoming a city which is preserved exclusively for the elite.

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