Hansen House is a historic hospital that cared for people with leprosy, established in Jerusalem in 1887. Now transformed into a design, media and technology cultural center, is home of the Jerusalem Design Week. The structure is under strict preservation regulations and it can only undergo minor changes.
Responding to the curatorial theme, EAST, while dealing with a sensitive historic context, HQ Architects designed 90 Degrees, a large scale installation that shifts the building’s orientation. Hansen House’s dominant character is oriented from south to north, creating a complex circulation between the interior spaces. Can a building change its orientation?
90 Degrees responds to both the curatorial theme, and to the spatial needs of the various exhibitions taking place during the Design Week. The content of the Design Week is built of distinct joints that create a temporary sequence through which the visitor will wish to move. 90 Degrees transforms the appearance and organization of the building by taking into consideration both the permanent structural limitations and the temporary needs of the Design Week.
The installation is comprised of a diagonal scaffolding system that climbs the building from west to east, from ground level to above the roof, and rotates the orientation 90 Degrees forcing the visitors to face towards the East. The steps form a physical platform approximately 14 meters high. This elevated space creates a link between the old and the new and suggests an alternative journey through Hansen House, while offering views beyond the building and the exhibition.
The flexibility of the scaffolding as a material, together with its structural qualities enables the addition of a new space by gently surrounding and penetrating the existing building.
90 Degrees presents an ephemeral structure that creates new spaces, stimulates interaction between the building and the visitors, and suggests alternative sequences of movement by engaging issues of history, culture, orientation and experience.