M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentYizhar Dikla
SubjectBuild Your Own Home Project
The Built Space at a Social Cultural and
Professional Turning Point
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor PROFESSOR EMERITUS Rachel Kallus
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


    Since the end of the 1960s, new residential areas have been created in Israel, initiated by the authorities, planned on public land and characterized by self-built detached and semi-detached typology. These areas are known as “Build Your Own Home” (BYOH). They are conspicuous in the Israeli landscape as compared to the large-scale multi-apartment buildings of the 1950s. This study focuses on housing policies and their spatial products by investigating the relationship between architecture and planning. Its methodology focuses on the difference between housing and living environments, regarded as two discrete concepts of research

     The intention of the research is to examine how the policies of BYOH shape and design the living environment. For this purpose the connection between BYOH’s rise in the 1960s and the policies of the Establishment was mapped. Archival material was collected and In-depth interviews were also conducted with people from various disciplines. These data are presented chronologically with regard to the development of the Project. There are four stages, and each stage is presented under a different heading, including: Formation, Reaction, Implementation and Dissociation.

      The discussion of the research findings presents BYOH project through three points of view, examining different aspects of institutionalized actions in Israel as a socio-cultural and geo-political project: as an architectural typology sustaining an emerging middle class; as a unifying typology, disguising spatial exclusion and inequality; and as a symbol of the incremental differences within local professional discourse.   

      The conclusions of the research indicate that, since the late 1960s, the relationship between the building - the architectural construct - and the land system on which building takes place, has changed. The importance of land has been emphasized, and the task of construction has changed. Against this battle for control of the land, planning processes have also changed, blurring the connection between the building and the ‘built-on’. BYOH, in the process of detaching the architectural unit - the private home, has misrepresented the purpose of the land by imposing the character of a residential area on it, thus creating a fictive unification of the various regions of the country and the character of the settlements, and thereby undermining social and economic equality. The architectural discourse mediating between the State, the professional community and the householder supports this confusion and aggravates those differences and spatial inequalities. This deconstruction of the pseudo-homogeneous BOYH Project exposes how the State of Israel constructs a “new” national landscape.