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Revitalisation of Birzeit Historic Centre

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Technical Information

  • Award Cycle:
    Status:
    Recipient
    Location:
    Birzeit, Palestine
    Client:
    Birzeit Municipality
    Architect:
    Riwaq - Centre for Architectural Conservation, Ramallah, Palestine
    Design:
    2007-2011
    Size:
    40640 m²
    Completed:
    2009 ongoing

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Project Brief:

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This five-year project, part of a rehabilitation master plan initiated by Riwaq, has transformed the decaying town of Birzeit, created employment through conservation and revived vanishing traditional crafts in the process. Community involvement was encouraged from the start, including local NGOs, the private sector, owners, tenants and users, all working with the municipality. Both historic buildings and public spaces have been rehabilitated into community activity hubs. Replaced sections of wall remain distinguishable from the original structures, without harming architectural coherence. Lost features were replaced where there was clear evidence for their former appearance, such as floor tiles with Palestinian motifs. Affordable traditional techniques and local materials were used throughout. Where no historical models were available, new elements were made in a bold contemporary spirit.

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