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Roi Hason

Roi Hason

Cary, NC, US

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"No Man's Land" Border Crossing between Israel & Jordan 5th Year - Final Project - 2013

My project objective was to emphasize the concept that we are all different, yet we are all the same.

Throughout my architecture studies, when one talked about the desert, I often heard the terms – "seclusion", "solitude", "wasteland" and other terms and symbols that describe the desert as a negative place.

As an architect who grew up in the desert, I found these terms incorrect and narrow minded.

For me, modern cities have more resemblance to these terms than a desert, with many man made "wastelands", "threats", and "solitude" one can feel.

My project takes place in a desert, however, I don’t treat the desert like most architects think I should.

My goal was to design a different kind of border crossing, with the focus on staying, rather than crossing...

Most of the border crossings today do not require you to leave your car, you don’t really experience this unique location that serves as a buffer between two countries, a "No Man's Land", a place who doesn’t belong to anyone, but I believe it belong to everyone.

Imagine the entrance to an airport, the mental change we experience from the first step at the door all the way to the "Duty Free" area, where we are literally duty free.

We allow ourselves to leave behind our everyday troubles, even if it's just a moment to feel free and relaxed as if we are already on a vacation before we board the plan. In my project you don’t wait for a plane, but I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t experience the same "duty Free" feeling.

The architecture was influenced by the "yin & yang" shape and idea, two similar sides creating a third and different element. A universal architecture without any local influence. It belongs to no one but it belongs to everyone.

The main feature of the building is the "Bridge Tower" between the countries and its observation area at the top, which gives the visitor a glance outside of the valley and the experience of being between places, right in the "Middle of The World".

The border between Israel and Jordan at that point is defined by the Jordan River, and it is changing according the river flow. So one can never really know where the exact border lies.

The same as the water in the river doesn’t belong only to Jordan or Israel, my building serve as a buffer, a universal place, a place who doesn’t belong to anyone, but yet, it belongs to everyone.

A secondary, but important, objective was to create a corner stone for a future development in the area. "…If you build it they will come…" As the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao changed the face of the city, the Jordan Valley will have the Border crossing. I'm throwing a stone into the water and I hope it will create many ripples around it.

 
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Status: School Project
Location: Israel and Jordan Border