|M.Sc Student||Guy Schnirman|
|Subject||Consolidated Refineries Ltd.-Haifa-A Proposal to Transform|
the British Management Building into a Museum,
Dedicated to the History of Oil-
Refinement Industry in Eretz
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisors||Ms. Hashimshony Rivca (Deceased)|
|Professor Szmuk Nitza|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The Haifa refineries were built 68 years ago in the Zebulun valley. Its construction completed a list of projects aimed at providing the British Empire with refined oil via the Haifa harbor - especially for the Royal Navy's ships in the Mediterranean. Haifa became the main western branch of the British semi government owned oil industry. The oil company constructed alongside the plant ten administrative buildings used for offices, dwellings and other supporting functions. Those buildings are considered to be an exception in the architectural landscape of that age; they form a unique bubble in the national context. Their construction technology is also unusual; it combines imported knowledge and advanced climate control systems. Those buildings are marginalized and obscured by the plant's huge facilities that define it as a significant landmark in Haifa's urban space. All the above-mentioned buildings were planned by two relatively anonymous British architects (James Mollison Wilson, Harold C. Mason). The same couple worked for the oil company in other similar sites all over the Middle East. Examining those previous Company sites can point at the origins of the architectural style adopted by the planners in Haifa. This research explores the political and architectural contexts that preceded the site's construction and discuses its conservation-worth values. It presents a wide-scale documentation of the site and the General office building. The core of this thesis is a proposal, to transform the main office building into a museum, dedicated to the history of the place and the technology of oil refining. It is accompanied by a discussion concerning the adaptive reuse of historic buildings and the degrees of freedom that may be taken by the designer in this kind of projects.
We hope that this research will reveal to the public the existence of this important historic site, hidden from the public until now. And may be some day it will be turned into a museum and will be opened to the general public.