The Templars were one of the most unusual communities active in Palestine before WWII and left a significant imprint on the local scenery. The Sarona Colony, established in 1871, was not the first agricultural colony in the vicinity of Jaffa, but it was undoubtedly the largest, the most advanced and the most successful amongst them. The colony was planned with two intersecting main streets at its center. The first (modern David Elazar St.) – included residential houses, workshops and industrial structures, including a winery, an olive press and a distillery. The second street included mostly residential houses. Public and communal structures, including the School and the People’s House, were built at the heart of the colony, near the main junction.
In the early 1990’s the Israel Land Authority and Tel Aviv-Yaffo Municipality designed a renewal program for the area. The main emphasis was on a considerable increase in construction volumes. When the economic profitability of conservation was established, it was agreed to adopt the new planning principles proposed with our help – the new towers were placed at the compound’s perimeter (former Southern Kirya), while at the its center an urban park including the planning of a complex of the streets and structures for conservation immersed in historic vegetation.. The main stumbling block of the program came from the municipality’s decision to widen Kaplan Street. In order to comply with this planning, our office planned and supervised the relocation of 5 buildings, three residential buildings and two major public buildings, within the colony. Prior to their physical relocation, the buildings were studied, documented and dismantled from all the additions in danger of being damaged during the transfer. At the same time the planning focused on the procedures for disconnecting the buildings from their foundations, their suspension, casting of new platforms and moving them to the new sites. We also planned the renewed location of the buildings and defined their new utilizations, planned the systems for these utilizations and coordinated the urban systems encompassing the compound, such as roads, future route of the light rail train, approach tunnels to underground parking, etc. In order to ensure their entire preservation the five historic buildings were moved to their new homes:
Typical residential house in an agricultural Templar settlement, occupied by the Steller Family. Built in: c. 1877.
Typical residential house in an agricultural Templar settlement, occupied by the Weller Family. Late 19th century.
Typical residential house in an agricultural Templar settlement, occupied by the Grozinger Family. Built in: 1877.
School, Public communal building in an agricultural Templar settlement. Built in: 1875.
People’s House, Public communal building in an agricultural Templar settlement. Early 20th century.
Relocation was completed in February 2006. The works of conserving and developing these buildings and their transformation to new utilizations entered their final stage these very days.
Project Start: 2003
Project Completion: 2006
Ordering Client: Israel Land Authority, Tel Aviv – Yaffo Municipality through the Tel Aviv – Yaffo Economic Development Authority Ltd and Ahuzat HaHof Company
Project Manager: Margolin Bros. Engineering and Consultation Ltd.
Building Relocation Company: MAMMOET