Students: Helena Tse & Holly Raesly
Instructor: Howard Davies
Studio: Arch 673
Year/Term: Winter 2020
The project is a vertical camp that confronts the standard way of building today by revisiting aspects of vernacular desert architecture. By exploring the potential of using an existing limestone canyon wall as part of the construction, the project seeks to engage people and architecture with the site’s natural landform.
Inspired by the traditional caravanserai, which served as trading and resting stations speckled along the Incense Road for merchants and pilgrims, this vertical camp is designed as one of many way-stations to facilitate trekkers of the Israel National Trail.
The project began by restricting the material choice to limestone so that it singularly performs as the structural, thermal, and rainscreen element. By using one material, the embodied carbon of its construction can be more accurately traced and quantified. The three-pointed arch is a vernacular form commonly used in stone construction to address issues of light, space, and ventilation. Within these arches, a spectrum of heterothermy is achieved by integrating niches or pods at varying thickness of thermal material. Beyond structural and environmental implications, the camp serves as a unique way-station to enhance, rather than replace, vvvvto the experience of the Negev Desert.