The redesign of a former football stadium into a neighborhood park with new housing and commerce resurrected the site as the new active center of the entire neighborhood.
The site of Crater Park and two new residential towers is defined by very steep slopes and a long-lasting public debate about what should happen to the historic ‘crater’ of Givataim. The project replaces a football stadium and amphitheater excavated in the 1920s, which were a neighborhood symbol and a source of pride but suffered from underuse and neglect. A new zoning plan from 2003 outlined the new division of the site: residential towers in the upper third of the site allowing for free public passage to the lower two thirds designated for park use. A small commercial center and a Kindergarten form the lower edge of the park.
The concept for the park was to create a green and active neighborhood park with multiple points of interest for residents of all ages, all this while providing universal access to all areas.
Steep slopes (14% – 11%) with an overall height difference of 17 m made it difficult to provide full accessibility between all parts of the park: creating a fully accessible system with hundreds of meters of ramps would have taken up most of the site. The solution was to divide the park into three main levels with multiple access points from the surrounding streets and stairs connecting between them.
The upper level consists of gardened areas around the residential towers with a plaza leading to a dramatic view terrace, and the park beyond. The middle level forms the heart of the park and includes a variety of play structures and fitness equipment, observation and rest areas and an ecological pond. Grassy slopes between different activity areas invite people to find quiet places in the shade of trees and reduce the need for walls and fences .The lowest level connects to the outdoor sitting spaces of the commercial center and includes a small amphitheater around an additional playground area and an enclosed dog park. All parts of the redevelopment come together to form the new center and meeting place for the residents of the entire neighborhood.
Barbara Aronson, Alon Schwartz, Ayellet Licht, Ayehlet Cooper
Parks, Promenades and Plazas