geopolitics of internal outlands > the garden
the land and its people, communities : on the edge of the desert, in the northern negev, all swimming pools are situated in jewish localities . in rahat, the largest bedouin city, each public open space is controlled by a different hamula (family group). in one of the first proposals for a bedouin swimming centre, the "common water" is located on a neutral ground. it provides an oasis for meetings, relationships, politics, interactions.
Over 200,000 Bedouins live in the Israeli Negev desert, about half of whom reside in non-recognised villages. Due to a lack of investment, there is widespread neglect of public infrastructure and amenities. The project addressed the design and construction of the first swimming centre for the Bedouin community in the Negev. As can be seen on the mapping of swimming pools in the northern Negev, all of them are in Jewish localities.
In the city of Rahat, municipal public open spaces are controlled by specific Hamulas. Looking for a setting for a shared public realm, it can thus be located only in the outskirts of the city.
The perimeter building protects the central area from dust storms, and creates a social interface with the surrounding city. The proposed swimming centre is not only a new public open space, but a vehicle for education, health and cultural balance, as well as ecological regeneration.
Inside the perimeter lies an integrated sustainable system of public open spaces and swimming pools, with water-retaining limans for date palm grove irrigation, and vegetation management including bio-filtered water and local cattle grazing. Combined, these elements create a garden at the edge of the desert, and a place
where regional residents, city dwellers and Hamulas can meet.
Project initiated by s--r together with the Rahat municipality and local partners.