May 1, 2021

Ground Up Journal Issue 08: Home

Ground Up Journal Issue 08: Home

The primary subject presented in MAMAD is the metaphor of the cave as a protective space. This notion is embedded within the layout of today’s Israeli housing units. The mamad is a reinforced security room meant to offer protection against high impact projectiles and chemical weapons. According to law, each apartment built in Israel after the Gulf War must have one. The idea is that the mamad is conveniently located inside your home for quick access in the event of an attack, and that simultaneously it fits into a normal domestic vocabulary. Its walls are built out of reinforced concrete. The room has two openings, usually one window and one door, though never on the same wall. The minimum net area of the room is nine cubic meters.

Inside view

The intention of the MAMAD project is to create a landscape room that translates the geopolitical changes in the region into the spatial and legal framework of the home. Landscape is always the scope with which to measure geopolitical activities. Therefore, the landscape room formalizes these changes into a new model of protected space. The creation process of the MAMAD begins by rearticulating the conflict area: the standard prefabricated configuration of the mamad and Israeli secure room-specific regulations. Thus, the rather negative experiences associated with the room— those of oppression and confinement—are transformed in a new spatial configuration that uses the materiality of earth as a layered, protective envelope. The MAMAD (proportion 3m x 3m x 3m) allows the visitor to see a new interpretation of a mamad through a spatial contradiction—a revelation of the outdoor landscape situated indoors.

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Gitai Architects