Yoav Messer Architects wins competition for Ariel Sharon National Park gateway bridge
On the outskirts of Tel Aviv in Israel lies an outstanding environmental programme. Hiriya was once a gigantic waste site which appears from afar as a flat-topped mountain, following decades of continuous landfill. At the height of activity as a local dumping ground, Hiriya was receiving 3,000 tonnes of waste every single day and topping out at 60m in height; the site contained 16 million cb m of household waste.
The Dan Municipal Sanitation Association has initiated a scheme to rejuvenate the 450,000 sq m mound by establishing a series of recycling centres at its base and blending the transformed mass into a neighbouring national park. Sold as a ‘green lung’, the re-imagined Hiriya mountain is to be a key feature of the Ariel Sharon Park and a design competition to create a gateway bridge to connect this converted waste dump with an access road has been won by Israeli practice Yoav Messer Architects.
To keep in line with the wider regeneration plans for the area, Yoav Messer Architects has suggested using discarded shipping containers as the key building material for the project. This vision of recycling waste materials to create an active public space is a reflection of the wider aspirations of the Hiriya scheme and falls in line with the project’s educational undertones.
Display spaces have been incorporated into the bridge design where temporary exhibitions can educate visitors to the Ariel Sharon Park on the importance of recycling and eco-friendly architecture. These steel containers will be paired with wooden substrate for the pathways and photovoltaic cells on the louvers which will generate green energy to light the bridge during the evenings.
To ensure that minimal damage is caused to the natural environment during construction, Yoav Messer Architects intends to undertake 70% of construction offsite in factories and stitch the components together at the project site. The 160m-long bridge will be able to support pedestrians, cyclists and motorised shuttle buses which will transport visitors from an external car park into the folds of the national park.
Two projecting balconies will be built into the bridge structure for visitors to enjoy the panoramic views of the national park. These serene spaces have been added to make the bridge a destination rather than a basic access point. The Econtainer Bridge is just one element of the wider Hiriya regeneration programme headed by the Dan Recycling Authority and Dan Municipal Sanitation Association. Click here to learn more about the complete scheme.