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THE 6TH CIRCLE

Project by: KRISTAL.

Location: Golan Heights, Israel

Program: Viewing Platform, Touristic Structure

Size: 1230 m2

Status: Concept

Year: 2021

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Rujum al-Hiri is one of the oldest and most powerful buildings of Israel - its construction dates back to about 5000 years ago, to the Bronze Age. The Rujum (Arabic for cairn, stone mound) is located in the center of the Golan Heights, a sparsely populated region with a unique beauty and identity. An aerial view of the site shows a large circle of basalt stones, inside which are smaller circles, some open and some closed. In the center of the circle is a stone mound, a dolmen, about 20 meters in diameter and approximately five meters high. The entire structure was built using more than 42,000 basalt stones local to the Golan Heights.

Due to its size and location in a flat area with no mountains or hills, the site can only be fully viewed from above, and indeed, the Rujum was discovered in modern times with the help of aerial photographs. Visitors to the Rujum can feel the powerful energy of the place but cannot see it in all its glory. The Rujum has an enormous tourism potential. Its accessibility to the general public can lead, directly and indirectly, to the strengthening of tourism, the economy and the unique identity of the Golan.

The proposed project, entitled 'The 6th Circle' reshapes the interaction  with Rujum el-Hiri and its surroundings, and thus also its significance to the public. It breathes new life into it and establishes the Rujum as a public, social, tourist, environmental and aesthetic symbol, with the ability to attract visitors from all over the world. The 6th Circle draws its form from the existing circles and creates a dialogue with them. In contrary to the existing stone circles, The 6th Circle rises high above the ground in the form of a spiral ramp that ascends to a height of 25 meters. During the ascent, all aspects of the Rujum are slowly revealed, reaching a spectacular view of the structure and the Golan Heights at its summit.

The construction of the new viewing platform is envisioned using only one material - white coated metal, in an attempt to differentiate itself from the stone circles by means of materiality, and dialogue with them in terms of feel.

The 6th Circle holds paramount importance to preserving historic and heritage values and strives to do so through the creation of a contemporary character - through visibility, functionality, and through the social and cultural meaning that it pours into the site. Through a change of perspective and the ability to interact with the natural and built landscape, The 6th Circle makes the Rujum and itself symbols of reference to an ancient heritage - national and worldwide.

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