Rishon Le’Tzion Urban Masterplan
First Prize in an invited competition
The site is a stretch of 300,000m2 of underdeveloped land in Rishon Le’Tzion, a town south of Tel Aviv. The land has not been developed because of an existing railway right-of-way limiting construction. With the understanding that the right-of-way would be transferred to an alternative location, the municipality proceeded with a design competition and commissioned the plan.
National Highway 4 divides the city of Rishon Le’Tzion between the eastern and western parts of the city. There is a substantial difference between the urban character, the texture and land use of the two sections of the city and there is little urban continuity between them. The older eastern part of the city, is characterized by narrow streets, a tight grid and mixed-use streets. Here there is an urban fabric and the streets are shared by pedestrians, cyclists, private car and public transport. The western part was developed in the 1990’s as a medium density suburb. It is characterized by segregation zoning, broad roads and above grade parking lots all of which primarily address the concerns of road engineers. Pedestrians and cyclists are secondary players at best.
The site of the competition, a current “no man’s land,” has the potential to connect these two parts of the city. Our vision is to create experiential, physical and scenic continuity and create a new and vital urban space.
The plan fulfills this vision by creating an urban boulevard that will serve as a central axis of leisure activity for Rishon Le’Tzion integrating pedestrian paths with private traffic and public transport.The masterplan applies the following principles:
1. New continuous and convenient transport links from east to west as well as from north to south of the city.
2. Support for all types of transport: pedestrians, cyclists, motorized vehicles and public transport with preferential access to pedestrian and cyclists.
3. The construction of a linear park with access to pedestrians and cyclists only.
4. Intense mixed-use development including commerce, public services, offices and residential units along the entire length of the boulevard.
5. Promote a variety of small shops and large commercial outlet stores.
6. Support a variety of municipal and government services.
7. Recycle and purify all gray water in a system integrated with the park.
8. Integrate various forms of public transport including the suburban light rail system (brown line).
9. Expand the Highway 4 underpass for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.
10. Expanded the campus for the educational institutions and the College of Business Management.
11. Allocate land for an energy and recycling center to provide the neighborhood with efficient and automatic underground garbage collection and sorting. The center will provide hot water and electricity, waste collection and separation, central gas supply and the electrical transformer station.
12. Division of the street front properties in small lots to promote architectural variety.
13. On street parking and underground parking. No off-road surface parking will be allowed.
14. The masterplan does not require that the right-of-way of Israel Railways be eliminated. The development can therefore proceed independent of the statutory process of relocating the right-of-way.
One-way streets are planned on either side of the park. The north street includes a two-lane bicycle path. The depth of the buildings on this bank allow for mixed-use buildings: commercial space, offices, hotels and residential. The north side of the boulevard is predominantly commercial and takes advantage of the elevation above the park. Unlike the existing situation where most residents are forced to use private or public transport to reach their nearest commercial facilities, the shops along the boulevard are expected to serve the residential community within a walking radius of 750 meters. Because of the orientation of the boulevard, the shoppers will be protected by a double height arcade along the entire commercial front.
Eight story residential buildings are planned above a commercial floor along the south bank of the boulevard. Most of the residential units will be on this side of the park offering a north facing view of the park. A service tunnel running on both sides of the park links all the building. Through this tunnel all services (hot water, heating gas, electricity, communications and waste collection) will be provided to the neighborhood.
A shallow water canal runs the full length of the park fed by processed gray water from the surrounding buildings. Within the park pedestrian paths, cycle paths, lawns, shade trees and active recreation facilities offer exercise areas and meeting places for the community. The planting in the park will create a green, clean and diverse environment. Local Mediterranean species, fruit trees and indigenous plants which require little water and maintenance will be incorporated to support the creation of habitats for birds and butterflies.
STATUS: In progress
SITE: Rishon Le’Zion, Israel
SIZE: 150,000 m²
CLIENT: Rishon Le’Zion Municipality
Design: PPY Architects
Landscape architect: Julie Peled