The Hill — Neighbours' Tribute

Roy Fabian
Location : Between the Buildings (East)

The work examines the space between the buildings neighboring the Liebling Haus. Contrary to Patrick Geddes' vision of community gardens, this semi-public space turned into a transparent area. It is a remainder, born out of building lines and regulations. And yet, this intermediate zone possesses unique qualities, resulting from the volumetric dimension and communal potential of the vanishing public

space. Fabian invites us to review it as a collaborative space, able to extend beyond the physical boundaries through the residents' cooperative action. The work consists of three actions, which only fuse into a single piece through joint agreement and coordination; the project's successful outcome depends on and reflects the relationship between neighbors.

Curator: Shira Levy Benyamini

The Hill: Neighbors' Tribute stands among the buildings surrounding the Liebling Haus, examining the space's qualities and potential. In the months leading up to the exhibition, we surveyed and studied the areas around the building – resulting from planning and building regulations dictating the building's location within the plot's boundaries. The unbuilt space surrounding the buildings becomes a shared border, the city's remainder yards.

The hill was divided into plots during the 1920s. The sloping area was leveled and allocated to fenced terraces, from which buildings grew. Buildings featuring various styles and characteristics were built on the site throughout the decades: from two- to three-story buildings to six-story structures with ground-level pilotis.

Three primary factors determine the nature of these remainder yards:

  • The attitude of the building's residents to the common areas;
  • the type of construction (mainly the ground floor);
  • and The height of the building.


The common areas are usually treated in a utilitarian manner. The leveled land is barricaded by retaining walls placed around the lot to maximize usage. This task is more manageable in buildings with ground-level pilotis, but there is a similar use in older buildings, too. Space is tightened, pressed, and functions as a parking lot – both in the remainder yards and below the building's mass, between the pilotis. Areas vacant of cars and infrastructures are neglected, filled with rubbish and piles of forgotten objects. The paved side paths and the vegetation at the edges lead to the remainder yards in the back.

The Hill: Neighbors' Tribute consists of two parts: a tour and a booklet.

Descriptive plaques accompany the self-guided tour through the Liebling Haus' emergency stairway, overlooking the remainder yard adjoining it with the houses on 23 and 25 Bialik street. The two buildings were constructed in the early period at the top of the hill, east of the Liebling Haus, and have a fully-built ground floor. The walking route interacts with the remainder yards across four points. The text and images featured on the plaques reference the work in the context of Bialik Hill as a whole, illustrating the potential of the remainder yards while focusing on the eastbound space.


The second part of the work is an image booklet of Bialik Hill reviewing preliminary analysis of the remainder yards and the proposal to construct the triangles installation (described in the first part of the work). The images consist of text and pictures, the former wrapping the latter like a decorative frame. Like a calendar, one can flip through the pages vertically, in a composition that produces a complete, stand-alone image on each page. These properties prevent continuous reading, highlighting the contextual affinity of the text and the image.

The Hill: Neighbors' Tribute invites both visitors and residents to re-examine the communal space. The routine division of urban residents responds to a functional hierarchy of living spaces: the house's interior at the top of the pyramid and the collective remainder spaces at the bottom. This relationship is rooted in a utilitarian-possessional concept of urban areas, based on a distinctly rigid division where the fence or the wall is a necessary tool. On the other hand, The Hill: Neighbors' Tribute invites consideration of a different social order, granting higher status to the neglected remainders. The soil from which a community may grow is still there, submissive, and objectified into individual cells. Just as the hill refuses to descend, forcing visitors to tread their feet up the path, so can social relations between neighbors rekindle through a breached fence provoking new spatial order.

העבודה ״הגבעה: מחוות שכנים״ ניצבת בין הבניינים המקיפים את בית ליבלינג, ובוחנת את האיכויות והפוטנציאל של מרחב זה. בחודשים שקדמו לתערוכה סקרנו ולמדנו את השטחים שסביב הבניין. שטחים אלה הם תולדה של חוקי תכנון ובנייה, שמכתיבים את הקמת הבניין בנסיגה מגבול המגרש. המרחב הלא-בנוי בירכתי המגרש ולצידי הבניינים הופך לשטחים משותפים בין הבניינים; חצרות השארית של העיר. 

אי שם בשנות העשרים של המאה הקודמת חולקה הגבעה למגרשים. השטח המשופע יושר והגבעה חולקה לטרסות מגודרות ומבוטנות, שמהן צמחו בניינים. משנות העשרים ועד שנות השבעים נבנו במקום בניינים עם סגנונות ומאפיינים שונים: מבניינים בני שתיים-שלוש קומות עם קומת קרקע, עד מבנים בני שש קומות עם קומת קרקע מפולשת על עמודים.

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