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Patio / A Courtyard House on a Kibbutz

The courtyard house form in the region of Eretz Israel dates back to the Yarmouk period (6400-5800 BC) (1). Another type of courtyard house is the “four-room house”, also known as the “Israelite house” (2). From then until the period of modern construction, the courtyard house of the Arab family served a social function as the focal point and hub of home life, before it crumbled during a period of major upheaval (3). We have adopted the many climatic and social benefits that the courtyard house offers, in an attempt to combine them with the values of the typical, simple kibbutz home, which left the common and community functions outside its walls.

The kibbutz house, together with the kibbutz itself, has undergone far-reaching changes in recent years. The phenomenon of “expansion” neighborhoods on kibbutzim requires rethinking their planning and the design of the new residence on the kibbutz.

This courtyard house, planned for the expansion of Kibbutz Cabri in the north, offers a combination of the values of modernist kibbutz architecture with traditional Mediterranean and local construction, in accordance with the principles of sustainable planning (so long as a kibbutz expansion house can be such).

The atelier of artist Yechiel Shemi and the rusty metal sculptures scattered next to it, greet visitors at the entrance to Kibbutz Cabri. (4) In our eyes, this reception makes the kibbutz unique in that it has embraced the pursuit of art. The entrance experience is translated as a tribute to this reception, through a spacious opening – with mezuzot covered with red steel plates – at the entrance to the inner courtyard of the house.

  1. Excavations at Kibbutz Sha’ar HaGolan, led by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, revealed courtyards of various sizes (250-700 square meters) and extensive construction. This is the earliest find of courtyards discovered to date.
  2. To date, about 25 sites have been excavated and exposed in western Israel, where this type of construction, dating back to 900-1200 BC, is found.
  3. Kobi Peled from “Architecture”.
  4. Yechiel Shemi, Ori Reisman, Gottesman Etching Center