print magazineAMC Aspects
Аrchitecture Мanagement Сonstruction

Project: Micro City = Block
Architect: Hanan Bensho

An open-system extension of a marketplace and the first neighborhood in Tel-aviv, Kerem Hatemanim. Social sustainable city block for Human Close Encounters (from the Third kind).

Human’s life today becomes more and more virtual. We live in huge cities, with millions of other people, live fast, move fast and work until late, with less and less time for establishing simple social relations, to know our neighbours. The compromise is virtual contact, through indirect platforms that give bites of flavours of human communication.

In the future, 21st century, this is is not going to change, but to increase. We will stay more inside our energy-efficient homes and will do everything through virtual platforms, closed from society, endlessly, become Sociophobics. The public space is relocating to the virtual space, clean, controlled and sterile. We will abandon the far-away city-centres and city-markets, to the virtual easy-to-reach space. What is the place of architecture in that kind of world? Architecture should make random encounters easier, funnier and unpredicted; it is the stage of a play we slowly forget - Human Encounter from the Third Kind.

The project suggests several key concepts regarding human relations in contemporary and future virtual and individual society:
- Encourage Random gatherings and non-formal meetings - stimulate social relations.
- Social yet individual –a light balance needs to be kept. Technology today can provide great platforms to compromise the need to self-express with the need to be part of a community.
- Open source – Evolution is a quality of nature and time. Self-sufficient city must obey this quality. Framed-chaos and partial-hermetic planning provide a ground for an updated, ever changing needs of individuals and societies. The importance is to develop a system that can adopt changes any time and to maintain unite.
- Vernacular in - Self-evolvement=self-involvement- modify-enabled and vernacular fabrics are about dialogs, share and improve local environment by ‘itself’.

The project is about relations of social and environmental elements, the bread of any self-sufficient city. It started with a social-spatial study of old city quarters, where direct, non-formal and unexpected encounters keep it alive and updated hundreds of years, until today. It continues with confronting the old with today’s new technologies (construction, virtual space..), economy needs (high density, urban open spaces) and environmental performance.