M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentLiron Amdur
SubjectArchitectural Vision and Place Meanings at the New Central
Bus Station, Tel Aviv
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Dr. Pliouchtch Marina


This research deals with the issues of place, place meanings, and connections between the architects' vision and meanings assigned to a place by its users. The aim of this research is to study the relations between the architectural vision and the place meanings of the users of the place. The research is interdisciplinary, utilizing anthropological, geographical and architectural research methodologies. The research questions regard the origin of place meanings (whether they derive from the physical environment, or from social and psychological aspects), and the role architects play in creating places.

This research examines these arguments in a case study involving the New Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. The analysis of the architectural vision was based on a model that identifies four dimensions of the vision: the future image of the place; the motivations for creating it; the role the architect assigns to the users in it; and the rhetorical means used in communicating the vision. These themes were also identified in the passengers' place meanings.

The analysis also identified central categories in the architectural vision and passengers' place meanings: content categories, such as reference to the physical environment, or the activity carried out at the place; and modes of thinking about the place - such as abstract-distant thinking or experiential thinking.

It was found that both architects and passengers refer mainly to categories of activity at the station. The physical environment plays an important role in the architects' vision, however less so in the passengers' place meanings. The architects describe the station mostly in abstract terms, while the passengers use mainly experiential and emotive language.

Following the factorization of architects' vision and passengers' place meanings, the categories were assembled into meta-narratives that describe the New Central Bus Station, Tel Aviv. Both architects' and passengers' meta-narratives describe the station as a place of contradictions - central and peripheral, full of activity but also empty and dead, luxurious yet cheap, loved and hated.