The Golden Heart Pavilion

Malkit Shoshan
The Netherlands
Public space

The Golden Heart Pavilion was the first community structure in Ein Hawd. It was created to support a series of cultural and international events in a Palestinian village of Internally Displaced Persons in Israel.

The Golden Heart pavilion was an alternative solution that provided the village with an extra 100 m2 of public space. The structure inside was divided into two connected halls and programmes, with a 5.5m-high gathering space and a 6.5m-high exhibition space. The asymmetric structure, which is composed of frenetically distorted and multiplied golden domes, was inspired by Temple Mount in Jerusalem and by the arches and domes of the old Ein Hawd.

The pavilion appears as a golden heart shape when seen from the sky. It was neither comfortable nor permanent. Inside, it was too warm, and it incorporated a permanent background sound of white noise.

The pavilion exhibited the historical narrative of the loss of Ein Hawd and exposed the war, the forced displacement and the confiscation of the villagers’ property (their land and homes). It also extrapolated a pragmatic future, which was assembled into a planning document: an alternative masterplan, which was produced in collaboration with the villagers.

The flexible inflatable, The Golden Heart, could be turned off and disappear from view in a couple of minutes. It could also reappear just as rapidly.

The mere existence of this pavilion, although ephemeral, triggered a discussion on the necessity for a community centre in Ein Hawd.

The pavilion was a part of a long term project with a community of Palestinian IDPs, which aimed at combining activism, architecture and politics to improve the living conditions in the village, as well as, to highlight segregation and human rights violation through the use of spatial planning in Israel.

The project started in 2004. The story of the village and of the project are documented in the book Village by Malkit Shoshan and Maurizio Borolotti that is published this summer, 10 years later.

In what way does your proposal contribute to the open society?
It is a successful example of architecture and activism, of the use of design to improve people living environments.


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