In this type of discourse, where it is the interaction of forces that is paramount, it becomes essential to speak of intersection. Points upon which these city-shaping forces converge are the setting in which it is possible to look critically at the city in its current form, identify tensions, anomalies, paradoxes and problems, and work towards conscientious growth and development of the urban condition.
However, with this renewed understanding, the notion of intersection itself becomes incomplete. Linguistically, the prefix ‘inter-‘ means ‘between’ and thus betrays an understanding of a place of intersection as a characteristically ambiguous interface mediating amongst two separate entities. But in a city paradigm of dynamic forces, these entities do not exist. Rather, places of intersection become entities in their own right, with depth and potential for development from within; this is the concept of the intrasection.
Intersection/Intrasection as an architectural exploration attempts to spatially define this distinction. It addresses the notion of inhabiting the urban intersection – not in a traditional formalist manner of applying program, organization and hierarchy, but rather in a way that generates a language and purpose from within the converging city forces themselves. The site is Dizengoff square, a dense physical intersection of traffic and pedestrian flows. To it, additional forces are recognized as existing: evidence of the unique architectural heritage of Tel Aviv and current patterns of spatial use. As well, forces that speak to the aspirations of the city as a whole are incorporated: issues of traffic congestion and parking scarcity as well as a growing concern for sustainability within the city.
The proposal for the square is a surface that is fluid and continuous. Taking from the ondulating facades of the surrounding modernist buildings, the surface itself becomes sidewalk and road, shelter and step, or barrier and opening over a gradient of transformations. Programmatically, the space is a hub – a place of movement connecting one street of Tel Aviv to another in a way that critically defines what may happen within that movement.
Places of commerce, vehicle access, bus terminals, alternative modes of transport such as bicycles and carpooling, and even a car wash are all present as commentary on how the individual is able to move about the city. Environmentally, the surface configuration accommodates light and ventilation even at it’s center, and it detailed with a specific pattern designed to harvest and process rainwater to use in the car wash and to provide relief to pedestrians on hot days. Overall, the project seeks to mediate between these multiple forces, to spatially juxtapose their expressions together in order to enhance the dynamism of their interaction, to discover new connections, and to propose new ways of thinking about urban life.