Beitar Ilit C (2004 – today)
Beitar Ilit is a case of urban planning in a highly difficult context. Its topography has the shape of a giant hand, where the 'fingers' are the mountain top areas of the housing of the ultra-orthodox Jews that populate it, and the valleys are private agricultural lands of Palestinian inhabitants. The division is not totally 'clean'. A bit like Swiss cheese, there are 'holes' of Palestinian private territory in the Jewish area, defined usually by the existence of an olive tree.
This leads to political difficulties, for instance, of where to pass the separation wall between the two. The mountaintop location of the Jewish neighborhood is a condition created by Palestinian property rights on the land, as well as by the urban planning regulation of leaving the valleys empty. Beitar Ilit A and B are constructed, or under construction. We were asked to plan Beitar Ilit C, the third part of the city.
The housing we have proposed is a neighborhood of 1000 dwelling units of several types and densities, by this creating a sense of familiarity and closeness, as well as diversity. The housing is designed in communal units, with an inner street-park in-between, emphasized by sheltered outdoor space and public buildings necessary in the living conditions of these communities in the area.