The city of Jerusalem and its permanent status under a political resolution is destined to be a cornerstone in any future political agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinian. Albeit that, the issue has received minimal architectural or planning attention. While this project won’t address the full complexity of a resolution, it outlines the basics of the approach to one of the most controversial discussions: the Old City’s future operation.
The work focuses on two gates- Jaffa and Dung gates, exploring the way a crossing process could be integrated around them with minimal interruption to existing reality on the ground. As many of our other works on such issue, they often raise as many questions as they answer. Nevertheless, we hope this work helps illuminate the basics of the future territorial arrangements between the Israeli and Palestinian sides in this important area.
In the context of a permanent status agreement and in the framework of a two-state solution, the Old City may require special arrangements in order to secure safe access and operation. In such case, it will be required to situate security facilities at its gates (rather than official border crossings) for monitoring entrance and exit.
The project focuses on a concept, operation scheme and building proposal for such entrance and exit terminal at the Old City’s Jaffa Gate and Dung Gate. The aim was to balance the security requirements with the preservation of the historic basin and secure access for all three religions.
The facility is planned to serve pedestrians and vehicles, and it proposes to use part of the adjacent Karta complex (currently housing the Mamila-Alrov arcade and shops) for this purpose in order to free the gate area and its entrance plaza from security apparatuses. This allows preserving the gate and the access through it with minimal interference with its appearance.
Dung Gate is planned to provide a pedestrian access to the Old City in addition to Jaffa Gate and other two main Palestinian gates. As it leads to the Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and their surroundings functions, the gate can serve many who wish to visit these sites whilst arriving from the Western city. In light of the severe lack of open space around Dung Gate, a crossing facility could only be situated either in the open space just outside the gate, or in the ancient market plaza located just inside the Old City walls. The facility proposed here for monitoring entry and exit of pedestrian passengers uses both the outer and inner spaces to this end. The entrance terminal will be situated in the outer part of the walls, and the exit terminal will be situated in their inner part (the market plaza). To the West, approximately thirty meters from the gate, there is a narrow opening in the wall, which used to serve as an entrance for craftsman and animals in the past.
This work is one in a series of projects utilize architectural methods for advancing conflict resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. The project explores the basic guides for integrating future border crossings around the Old City, around Jaffa and Dung Gates.
Project: Entrance and exit terminals to the Old City: Jaffa Gate & Dung Gate
Status: Published, 2007
Commissioned by: ECF ( Economic Cooperation Foundation ), Tel Aviv
Funded by: The Finnish Government
Research and layout: Architects Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat and Karen Lee Bar-Sinai
Research Assistant: Nimrod Schenkelbach