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A Land. A Line. An Intersection. An Interface. An Open Boundary. 

On a land that joins two distinctive yet tied up cultures, a space for uniting and linking further what is different of two cultures is to be produced. The space of Umm el Fahem contemporary art comes as an intervention that wants to express its attachment to the land on which is to be built . The space of its existence is the space of the line that defines the boundary of the site within the limits of which it is meant to be built . A line that represents the materialization of an Arabic culture that wants to express it self in the built environment . 

Our interest or attention to the notion of the Line is forcefully coming from the importance this subject holds in this specific context. We are intrigued by the possibility to transgress , through our proposal for this museum, the definition of the line as a limit , a closed boundary in order to transform it into an intersection, an in-between space, a space of co-habitation, but also a creative place of artistic production. A line linking two or more cultures . 

In this perspe ctive, the museum that we propose consist s of a place that would meticulously de velop along the lines of it s site boundar y. A gesture that stems , on a first le vel, from the desire to multiply the building ’s interface with the different sides of it s context triggering different relationships with it s neighbours . 

On a se cond le vel, following the boundar y of the whole site enables the museum to appropriate to it s own space the spe cial topography of the land. The visitor would be invited into a unique experience that would be tightly linked to the site and the forest . This line be comes an oppor tunity to explore a spe cific language of making the place of this building . A language that would want the differing visitors of this same space to explore it as an open boundar y transforming into a series of platforms open to the public . 

To this aim, the building of this museum has to articulate and integrate with its users as well as its natural and built context . The space of contemporar y art would bear through this museum a lightness of existence. It is imagined to be shaped of a superposition of disparate layers of panels or skins laid down in parallel to the museum assigned site. 

A superposition of opaque, perforated, or patterned layers would settle in different distances along the museum contour in order to form the functional spaces of the museum ( the exhibition spaces , the workshops areas , the restaurant ...) each with a different quality of light dithering in it . 

This disconnected line of platforms move in distance to form a unique promenade guiding the visitor along the building into the shades and shadows of the embraced sculptural garden. In this place, the same lines would transform into simple boards open for artists and people’s intervention. 

The museum becomes then a blank canvas open for people’s intervention. A museum in progress .

Project information

Status: Competition Finalist

Location: Une El Fahem, Israel

Date: 2008

Area: 9000 m²

Commission type: Private

Client: UEL Art Gallery

Program: Museum of israeli-arabs contemporary art

Architect: Dorell Ghotmeh Tane / Architects, Paris






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