2003       King David Memorial  /  Ella Valley Project

Client: The victory of King David association
Size: 1000sqm
Program: Memorial site for the victory of David over Goliath
Photo: Amit Geron

The site is on the top of a hill, which is connected to another hill. The goal of the project, is to immortalize the victory of David over Goliath, and to preserve the understanding of the cultural and historical legacy of the battle.

The structure and its approach are situated in a way which maximally exploits the topography and the views to the hills north of the Ella Valley. The project aims to present the historical site, and at the same time create a space for exhibition and gathering-both interior and exterior.

The monument of victory is designed as a platform which rises from the top of the hill, minimally intervening with the site. When walking towards the monument, the visitor circulates on a bending ramp, which also serves as a promenade, an observatory, and a symbol for the transition between past and present.

Inside the building there is an additional staircase, which takes the visitor to the roof, from where another ramp raises to another observatory, a higher one. The section, which is created between the elite promenade and the roof of the building, accompanies the exhibition spaces and provides indirect natural lighting.

The proposed configuration repeats the form of the weapon used by David in order to maximize views to the hills and the Ella Valley. The form and the space within are the result of a panoramic exploration of the views.

While the form of the weapon controls the composition of the building, the symbolic, religious and traditional significance, becomes stronger by the intervention with nature. By rising and distancing itself from the ground, the building becomes a landmark which can be spotted from a distance, and engraved in the collective memory.

The amphitheatre which is situated downhill is originally Greek, apart from the fact that the traditional performance stage is replaced by the natural topography. A trail dissects the amphitheatre and marks on its way to the monument of victory the axis between Tel Shukha and Tel Azeka-between the location of Bnei Israel and that of the Phillistines, the evening of the battle.

In order to arrive to the building, the visitor walks up the ramp which arrives at the assembling floor, and when the visitor is underneath the building, he completes the climb through a curved ramp which leads to the exhibition space. Here the visitor is in a space of thought, study, reflection and exposure towards the monument and the view.

At the monument of victory, there are trees, a pool, and an area for events and assemblies, which along with the surrounding hills envelope the visitor in a rich and historic setting. A dialogue between past and present is created by the futuristic form of the structure.

As opposed to classic human values, which are not separate from architecture, the project presents the pure tangibility of the subject.