The Turkish Rail – Light Rail, Red Line, Tel Aviv
As part of the Red Line of the Dan district light rail train system, our office planned and supervised the construction of the “Turkish Alignment” section that stretches west to east for approximately 1,065 meters, from Kaufman St to Herzl St. The Red line light rail train runs at street level on Jerusalem Boulevard and Kaufmann Street. It turns east to the “Turkish Alignment” section and descends underground to “Elifelet” station and continues to the underground tunnel, reemerging above ground in Petah Tikva.
In collaboration with a team of engineering firms, our office has planned the track alignment, the excavated Elifelet station, and the tunnel for this section. The Turkish Rail Park (“Hamesila Park”)was planned over the underground route, from Nahalat Binyamin St. to Kauffman Rd and “Hatachna” compound. The construction of the tunnel in this section was performed in the method of “Cut and Cover” which consists of an open excavation up to Elifelet St. and a roof cover above from there to Herzl St.
The Turkish Rail Park was built above the tunnel roof after it was covered with urban utilities and gardening soil. The park complements the urban boulevard scheme of Tel Aviv and connects the southern city center and Rothschild Blvd. to the beach. Unlike the other city’s boulevards, this functions as a linear park for pedestrians and cyclists only, completely free from car traffic along its length, creating an urban street with a new character. The Park was an immediate success and bustles with life, enabling and strengthening the urban connection between the neighborhoods of north Neve Tzedek and south-central Tel Aviv, between the city and the beach line, and between Jaffa and Tel Aviv. A major engineering effort was invested in building the tunnel at the narrow path between the existing buildings along the parks of Neve Tzedek and Florentine neighborhoods some of which are very old and shallow based. For the construction of the tunnel, Chelouche Bridge was dismantled and restored to its historical form while adapting it to current car traffic.
Elifelet Station was built in the excavated area in front of the tunnel portal, entering the underground tunnel. The track level is 7 meters below the surface of the surrounding streets. Originally planned to be open and exposed, we believed it was necessary to create a roof structure to shade the station. The requirement was for a shading structure that would allow natural ventilation, but would also keep out rain, and allow smoke management in case of an emergency. For this purpose, we designed a 20 meter wide spatial structure made of segments of V-shaped tensile fabric “channels” that overlap each other. The fabric is made of PTFE coated glass fiber which is very durable and resistant to exterior conditions.
In planning the roof, we were assisted by architect Erez Amitai from Italy, an international expert in the design and construction of tensile structures, and structural engineering company WSt Werkstudio (led by Andrzej Winkler from Poland and Tiago Carvalho from Portugal), an experienced expert in the engineering design of complex tensile structures. Without this knowledge, which is unavailable in Israel, the roof structure could not be built.
Location: The Original Turkish Alignment Section, North to Eilat Rd. from Herzl St to Koiffman Blvd
Area: 30,000 Square meters
Photography: Rotem Barak, Amit Geron
3D Rendering: 3 Division
Tensile Structure Engineer: WSt Werkstudio (Andrzej Winkler, Tiago Carvalho)
Tensile Structure Architect: Erez Amitai