New Qalandia

B. Arch Year 4 Studio


4th Year Studio, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design




Nilly Harag, Daniel Mintz


The Qalandia Checkpoint and now defunct Qalandia International Airport are located on the seam between Jerusalem and Ramallah and between Jerusalem and the rest of the world. As points of departure for one’s journey towards Jerusalem, it is ironic that both places are defined as terminals. In these finite places, time comes to a standstill. There is nothing to do in Qalandia but wait. Wait for a plane, wait for a new beginning, wait for a verdict. Qalandia is not a prison, yet it is as far removed from freedom as can be.

My project maps various pilgrimages to Jerusalem, ancient and modern alike, real or imagined, literary and physical. It proposes to construct a new spatial device in Qalandia inspired by the ‘Exodus’ architectural thesis, published in 1972 by Madelon Vreisendorp, Elia Zenghelis, Zoe Zenghelis, and Rem Koolhaas. Thus, the site was reimagined from that of an endless wait to that of transformation.

In New Qalandia, waiting is no longer employed as a deterrent, but as a rich platform for growth. Bureaucracy perishes, and a pilgrimage begins. Upon entering New Qalandia, tribal identities are depleted and replenished by individual journeys.

The Site

The Qalandia Checkpoint and Qalandia Airport

Mapping a Journey

Life in New Qalandia