In recent years the city of Haifa is undergoing a process of accelerated urban renewal. Opposite forces operate in an area that has been neglected and desolate for years, and seeking to instill in it seemingly contradictory values: Western influences vis-à-vis Oriental ones, local vis-à-vis foreign, Jewish vis-à-vis Arab, residential vis-à-vis commercial, innovation vis-à-vis traditionalism, and daily life vis-à-vis nightlife.
In the heart of this developing region, the Fattoush Bar & Gallery - a huge 650 square meter space dedicated entirely to culinary arts, arts and crafts - has recently been opened and is wisely using recycled design, furniture and décor that have been carefully collected from flea markets around the world. Thus the project puts itself at the forefront of the re-use trend, which now sets the tone for international architecture.
"When we started working on the project, we quickly realized that the real story here is the struggle itself, and the constant tension between the new and old elements that seek to determine the face of Haifa," says Kfir Galatia-Azulay, an artist, architect and multidisciplinary designer and owner of the Tel Aviv office K.O.T Architects, who led the process along with entrepreneur Wadie Shahbarat.
"From here," he said, "Our bold choice was made - not to choose. We decided to open a venue that will operate both day and night, and change its character in accordance with the hours of the day and the changing population, offering a varied menu of food and alcohol that will change around the clock. A place offering an open stage to creators from different backgrounds and different fields of art to make their voices heard.
"And above all, to ensure this variety of uses and identities, we chose a design approach based on existing treasures - unique items that were collected in flea markets all over the world and brought to Haifa to be given a new life." This perception characterizes the entire business and artistic vision of Shahbarat, a well-known figure in Haifa and the owner of Fattoush restaurant in the German Colony of the city.
"Together we embarked on a world-wide journey, to discover art deco iron railings, ancient wooden chests and doors that were dismantled from commercial facades. We treated the items as raw materials, although most of them were in good state and already finished, and we allowed ourselves to play with them at different levels: painting, clothing, filing, sawing, cutting and re-assembling, while keeping in mind the needs of the space and the project.
"In this way, we achieved two additional goals: the first is to align with global environmental and ecological trends, which sanctify the renewed use of the existing, while respecting tradition and reducing the impact on the world we live in. The second is to provide an innovative interpretation of Haifa's being a port city that absorbs foreign influences, and assimilates them without apologizing and without giving up its own unique qualities".
In order to deepen the eclectic effect and to connect the "words" represented by the various items into a coherent design language, Galatia-Azulay decided to use different finishing materials, different shapes and many colors that are influenced by different, relevant periods, thus creating an eclectic and colorful textural wealth that assaults the senses. His ambition was to create a spectacular display of head-on collisions, which only together create a single rhythm. Thus, from raw, unrefined encounters between various materials and elements, a dynamic and changing space with a unique identity is born.
The relationship between the static building, which was established during the British Mandate and served in the past as a warehouse for goods and weapons, and the dynamic and versatile uses, is also joined by the unique location of the project - only a few meters from an active railway line. The hustle and bustle, the lights and the visual encounter between the guests of Fattoush and the train passengers create a rare and unusual connection in the Israeli urban experience. Instead of treating the railway track only as an element that surrounds the project and disconnects it from its environment, it also serves as a source of life and energy, creating brief encounters with uninvited guests who enjoy a glimpse of the celebration inside, as well as serving as a living backdrop.
Although the project has been referred to as a whole, it is possible to discern several focal points of activity that encourage a glimpse and a meeting
In recent years the city of Haifa is undergoing a process of accelerated urban renewal. Opposite forces operate in an area that has been neglected and desolate for years, and seeking to instill in it seemingly contradictory values: Western influences vis-à-vis Oriental ones, local vis-à-vis foreign, Jewish vis-à-vis Arab, residential vis-à-vis commercial, innovation vis-à-vis traditionalism, and daily life vis-à-vis nightlife. In the heart of this...
- Year 2019
- Work started in 2018
- Work finished in 2019
- Main structure Mixed structure
- Client Fattoush
- Status Completed works
- Type Multi-purpose Cultural Centres / Exhibition Design / Bars/Cafés / Pubs/Wineries / Restaurants / Discos, Clubs / Interior Design / Custom Furniture / Lighting Design / Art Galleries / Book shops / Restoration of façades / Furniture design