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The Big 
House

Documentation, Conservation & Design

Client: Mishmar HaEmek

Location: Mishmar HaEmek, Israel

Program: library, archive and administration offices 

1340 sqm

2012-2018

The Big House, designed by Joseph Neufeld, was built between 1933 and 1937 as the first educational institute of the Kibbutz movement in pre-state Israel/ Palestine. It was originally conceived as a self- governed ‘Children's Community’ within an enclosed campus where children lived, slept and studied communally, away from their parents. In the mid 1990’s communal sleeping institutions were abolished in all kibbutzim, and the Big House was vacated of its inhabitants.

In July 2012, our office was hired to develop a concept for its adaptive re-use. The proposed intervention highlights the building's existing architectural assets and reinterprets Neufeld's architectural concepts anew. It restored the building's centrality to kibbutz life by transforming it into a library and archive and kibbutz civic administration offices.

East elevation entrances- photo by Illy
West elevation with new extension
West elevation with new extension

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South elevation
South elevation

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East entrance
East entrance

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West elevation with new extension
West elevation with new extension

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THE BIG HOUSE
THE BIG HOUSE

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DIAGRAMS
DIAGRAMS

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Main Floor Plan After Renovation
Main Floor Plan After Renovation

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THE BIG HOUSE
THE BIG HOUSE

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