טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentLevin Bruce David
SubjectMikveh Israel: Preserving the Landscape of a Cultural
Heritage Site
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors Professor Nurit Lissovsky
Professor Daniel Czamanski
Mr. Gil Gordon
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

The current internationally accepted philosophy and set of values applied in "best practice" determinations involved in conservation actions are perhaps most eloquently spelled out in the revised ICOMOS Burra Charter of 1999. In the evolution of architectural and site conservation, emphasis has shifted from objects and monuments to buildings and groups of buildings and of late to "places of cultural significance". 

The historic and culturally significant site of the "Mikveh Israel Agriculture School", has seen continuous use since its founding in 1870. I have viewed as a challenge, the preserving the historic fabric of this large 750 acre site which has fortunately escaped the developer's "plow", despite its location in the heart of Israel's Dan Metropolitan Region.  The overall mechanism chosen calls for conservation of the historic buildings and landscapes while at the same time careful physical planning for a dynamic expansion and development of the agricultural school into a national and world class educational institution dedicated to agriculture and the earth sciences. 

For this final paper, I scoured a large amount of historic sources including first and second hand writings, maps, photographs and discussions with former students.  After having gained an understanding and appreciation of the historic narrative surrounding this unique site, I turned to gathering and organizing the elements of significance worthy of preservation into an inventory listing. Emphasis was given to landscape and agricultural elements since the conservation listing of buildings provided by the Tel Aviv Regional Council architects was found to be an adequate for initial consideration.

In conclusion, I have provided a physical plan of a future Mikveh Israel Agriculture School, integrated into the Ayalon Park lands. This plan is meant to be but one scenario for how stringent state of the art conservation can work hand in hand , reinforcing the goals of current inhabitants and users while avoiding "gentrification".

My conclusion for Mikveh Israel  is that the best  conservation plan makes flexible use of various tools described in the Burra Charter, amongst them agricultural landscape succession, restoration and reconstruction of the agrarian landscape fabric, building conservation, adaptation and compatible use, maintenance, and preservation.  The conservation process for the Mikveh Site will be long and require a sophisticated and responsive organization able to manage the process successfully over time.  My findings are that the uniqueness and significance of the site surely deserves such an effort.