Articles Grimshaw Reimagines Israel’s Transportation Hubs

A mass transit transformation is underway in Israel with a transportation plan that will bolster equity and support the environment by removing private vehicles from congested roads and offering greenways for the community.

Grimshaw, in partnership with Arup Engineers and Mann Shinar Architects as executive architect, developed a guiding policy document for Ayalon Highway Company that establishes system-wide principals and metrics for the planning and construction of transportation centers in Israel.

“The Ayalon Corridor currently separates the western and eastern portions of the Dan Metropolitan Area, dominating the areas with infrastructure and vehicular uses,” said Nikolas Dando-Haenisch, Principal and Architect at Grimshaw. “The Ayalon Transport Hubs are meant to change this by creating routes across the corridor and destinations for the surrounding communities to foster sustainable growth in the region.”

The guide for the Ayalon Transport Hubs, which was recently adopted by the Israeli Ministry of Transport, introduces the idea of integrated hubs that bring passengers from various transit modes into centralized stations, helping elevate Israel’s mass transportation system to international standards. Five hubs are planned along the Ayalon Corridor in the Dan Metropolitan Area: Ben Zvi Station, HaHagana Station, HaShalom Station, Savidor Station, and the future Gelilot South Station. They will combine traffic from the four Israel Railways lines, two planned metro alignments, the LRT network, two high speed underground train lines, as well as passengers from the intercity bus system.

Following the project team’s reporting on peer transit systems and a context analysis of the hubs, they created system-wide guidelines that position the stations within the framework of the entire city and establish five overarching themes that provide a common thread throughout the transit system. These guidelines are accompanied by implementation reports that offer unique design solutions for each of the five hubs. Succinct and prescriptive, without limiting creative license, the implementation reports provide the ultimate station designers with a basis of design, criteria for each location, and site programming for multimodal hubs.

“It was important that the guidelines give clarity and credence to the project vision,” said Mehnaj Tabassum, Associate and Architect at Grimshaw. “We wanted to provide well-meaning intention to the project without controlling every detail of the design.”

This project unifies efforts from various government agencies to create efficient operations that offer open public spaces, encourage urban activity, and provide streamlined wayfinding between transit modes. The hubs are intended to transform transit terminals into urban centers with the potential to fuse divides between the two banks of the highway. The areas surrounding the hubs will be designed for 24/7 activation with retail street frontages, plans for future commercial development, and welcoming urban plazas that allow for shaded leisure activities.

The Ayalon Transport Hubs are envisioned as urban landmarks that will create inviting entrance points into Tel Aviv and the greater Dan Metropolitan Area.