Erasure of Water

B. Arch Thesis Project, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design


Final Thesis Project, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design




Nilly Harag


In the 1950s, the Hula Lake, which was the third largest body of water in Israel, was dried up along with its Flora, Fauna, and human inhabitants. Driving the nomadic communities away from this rare waterscape not only erased its past but crippled its very ability to remember. Inhabitance cannot take place without memory.

Nowadays, the lake offers no remains, structures or systems through which a community can develop a sense of private history. However, the return of water to the Hula Valley may wash away the erasure of the past, and establish a noble way of life and a new nomadic history.

Water resists concrete elements, the square meter, the fixed location, the rent, and the property deed since they belong to all inhabitants of the land. Therefore, this project proposes to re-flood the Valley. Re-flooding will not occur through a monolithic lake, but through a network of canals which will become a platform for a new community with new identities, new architecture, and new mythologies.


In black – things that still are; in red – things that are no longer.

Archival Excavations

Right: Mapping the Hula Valley’s agriculture, population, wildlife, ownership and irrigation.

Left: Archive images of the hula valley, prior to its drainage during the early 1950s

Mapping the Valley

Left: The agricultural blanket spread over the drained valley.

Right: Manhattan superimposed over the Hula Valley in 1:1.

Bottom: Everything

Re-flooding the Valley