Common Ground


An entrance garden for Beit Harishonim cultural center, Emek-Hefer

Photos: Mikaela Burstow

Common Ground Is a collective effort to transform the outdoor area of the recently abandoned Beit-harishonim historic house into a cultivated garden, more than a form or an object, Common Ground is a process.

Instead of seeing the construction stage as an exclusive client-builder interaction, at the end of which a project is delivered as an object for the visitors to enjoy, the construction process for Common Ground was inclusive and was held in an open-to-all construction site. Using open-calls and publications to local communities, nearby residents have joined the build process; together we tightened the ground, casted concrete benches, planted wild plants, and turned the construction process into a collective effort in which gardening is an ongoing project.

The layout of the garden is a condensed pocket-sized English garden with a main path which diverges into smaller paths and hidden seating areas. Each area is positioned to outlook a different view of the nearby landscape while making room for a bold custom concrete-cast terrazzo element. While the first two concrete elements are somewhat intimate, a larger reflection pool makes place for a possible play and interaction between people, animals and plants. Along the garden paths, five trees were planted in order to supply shade and fruits for visitors. Almost all plants which were planted in the garden are local wild plants which characterize the surrounding area of Hefer valley, while a small number of culture plants was used to bring about multi-seasonal blossoms.

Construction Log:
May-June, 2023

Copyright ⓒ 2023
el.em studio  לירן מסר