Shelter For Victims Of Domestic Violence

Amos Goldreich Architecture was commissioned by the charity, No To Violence, to design and deliver this unique project located in Israel, near Tel- Aviv. The new, purpose built shelter will replace an existing one, providing a totally secure and sheltered building and a peaceful haven that will give its inhabitants a home away from home. The site measures 1600 square metres, is located within a quiet residential neighbourhood and surrounded by a mix of private residential houses and blocks of flats. This required careful and considered consultations and a participatory design process, working closely with the public and end users. A paramount request expressed by the client was to create a sense of home and security for the inhabitants, without it feeling like a prison. In response, we created a building with two facades: the secure and protective external façade, and the inner aspect, which overlooks the internal courtyard. This internal facade contains the therapeutic “heart” and protective haven of the shelter. Our approach was to design the building as a small village that accommodates a variety of functions.On arrival, each new family is given a small ‘house’ that is part of the larger building. In order to allow the families to conduct a normal daily routine in the shelter, it was important to separate the ‘houses’ from communal functions. The surrounding internal corridor (or ‘street’) connects the internal and external spaces and creates a free-flowing space in which women and children can interact, whilst maintaining mutual sight lines with the staff. The green sanctum of the inner courtyard plays a crucial role as a meeting place for the residents. It also serves a functional purpose, providing optimum visual connections between the house mother and the families, as well as between the women and their children.