at the core of golany architects’ design for the community center in holon, israel, lies the focus for a building friendly and inviting for people with disabilities.
providing accessibility to the entirety of the building was essential and indispensable. accordingly, the architects employed strict measures and responsible design decisions to cater for people with special needs including wheelchair users.
golany architects implemented an inclusive design approach, so as to create an environment that suits any user. the accessibility provisions throughout the building were integrated as seamless, aesthetic additions to the construction rather than unattractive and stigmatizing features that announce people’s disabilities. in turn, the setting creates an environment where everyone who enters feels comfortable and equal.
to facilitate legibility and orientation, a range of colors were used as a design language for the accessibility features. they serve as markers to assist people with visual impairment, and to find their way to remain oriented. colors also serve as means to create a cheerful and lively atmosphere to stimulate positive emotions. in addition to the color palette, the materials were also chosen to provide a friendly environment for any guest. they suit the required frequent cleaning and the accidental impact of wheelchairs, and their hues were chosen to comply with the required color contrast.
the building’s main function is a community center for 40 individuals, over the age of 21, that have a disability. most activities are held in the activity rooms, which hold groups of eight people. in addition, the building includes a dining room, physiotherapy and other therapy rooms, meeting spaces and outdoor areas.
golany architects aimed to connect the building to the exterior, as many of the users are not independently able to experience the outdoors. the north elevation allows wide views of the street, granting a sense of involvement in the local street life. while the south elevation’s large shaded openings face the garden, and encourage outdoor activity areas.
the front elevation is characterized by curtain walls and a steel colonnade to match and blend in with the new office buildings’ aesthetic that dominates the evolving urban area. the inclusive design approach that guided all the design decisions, is also presented in the way the building introduces itself to the public.