The Dung Gate, one of nine gates in the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, was built by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. It was originally a narrow, 1.5 meter opening adorned by a stone arch. Built to accommodate pedestrians and pack animals, in 1952 it was widened by the Jordanians to accommodate vehicular traffic. In the 1980s the Jerusalem Foundation decided to enlarge the gate once more to support the increased traffic of pilgrims visiting the holy site. Working with architect Arthur Kutcher, our office created a design for a new-old gate which incorporated the original stone arch and stone decoration set above a new reinforced concrete, stone clad arch, thus creating a 4.5 meter high opening. Rather than emphasizing the distinction between old and new, which is often the strategy when retrofitting historical places for contemporary uses, the new design for Dung Gate blends old and new to preserve the style and spirit characteristic of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Shlomo Aronson, Arthur Kutcher