PHOTO TOUR: Sderot Medical Rehabilitation Center
The front of the building features an arc-shaped entrance.
Special openings inside the building allow for natural light penetration, and patterned ceramics add color.
This old tree wasn't removed, but affected the building plan and was re-shaped specially to fit it.
The therapeutic pool was designed with special embedded concrete tiles to create a pleasant atmosphere.
The entrance hall was designed to be safe and bomb-proof but also inviting with glass coverings and a painted floor.
External balconies and internal gardens covered with arches walls let natural light come in and create a more calming experience when patients and staff walks throughout the building.
The reception area was designed with a large window covered with bomb-proof glass in case of an attack.
While the front of the building looks as if its one solid unit, the other side reveals balconies, arcs and shaped openings.
Two impressive, mature Ficus Microcarpa trees were preserved on site, creating the impression that the building has existed for a long time.
The Sderot Medical Rehabilitation Center, located in south Israel, near the Gaza Strip, was designed to provide medical services and rehabilitation to patients in the Negev region and, in particular, the Gaza perimeter.
The Ezra LaMarpeh Association, a nonprofit organization that provides free medical treatment, built the rehabilitation center. The facility houses a therapeutic pool, an occupational therapy unit, a physiotherapy unit, a diagnostic unit and a consulting unit.
Due to the unstable security state in the Gaza Strip and the ongoing Qassam rocket attacks, the goal was to design a safe building which will allow ongoing activity even when it is being bombed. The challenge was to design a bomb-proof building that meets strict security requirements but at the same time creates a pleasant therapeutic environment by allowing the penetration of natural light and rooms filled with the colors of vegetation and the sky, thus opposing the stress and claustrophobia that characterize the daily routine of running for shelter when being bombed.
In order to achieve the required security level, special ballistic studies were conducted. Rockets orbit diagrams were used in order to analyze where the building's facades and roof scape could be opened to allow natural light and views, and where it needed to be closed for security reasons.
These studies allowed leaders to design the building in such a way that therapy, even in the external therapeutic garden, can be continued, without the need to run to a bomb shelter when there is a rocket attack. This is a great relief for the patients and staff who can concentrate on therapeutic activities without a constant worry of what might happen during a missile attack.
Specially designed brightly colored ceramics, in patterns, were used to clad the walls. Similar patterns were used on the floors while timber brings warmth to the surroundings.
The insistence on conserving two impressive mature Ficus Microcarpa trees on the site caused complication during the construction period, but proved to be a worthwhile decision. Their proximity to the building creates the notion that the building has existed next to them for a long time rather than being recently constructed.
Therapeutic activities were the focus of the building's design. The therapeutic pool is on the ground floor, which allows for easy access from the street and the convenient movement of the patients from activity to activity. A small café is designed as part of the main entrance for patients, and their families and escorts. The consultation rooms, and administration and management offices, are on the first floor, with an extra, separate entrance for times staff need to work in the afternoons and evenings. The basement houses all the technical support as well as equipment a rental unit (therapeutic instruments, wheelchairs, etc.). This space also can operate independently in the after hours.
Project source list
Completion date: January 2017
Owner: Ezra Lamarpe – NGO
Total building area: 3,000 msq
Total construction cost: 30,000,000 ILS
Cost/sq. ft.: 1,100 ILS
Architecture: Weinstein Vaadia Architects, architect in charge – Tali Rosen
Interior design: Weinstein Vaadia Architects, architect in charge – Tali Rosen
Engineering: Zvi Abramovich
Carpet/flooring: Ecostone Terrazzo 211 – Zimbris-Stone
Handrails/wall guards: Shinzon
Signage/wayfinding: Kasher Design