Reconstruction is often thought of as the counterpoint to destruction, while in reality, for a site like Gaza, these two moments in time are inextricably linked together in a vicious cycle. Since 1948, Gaza Strip has been destroyed and rebuilt more than 10 times. However, for the past five years, Gazans have struggled to reconstruct their home in the midst of three consecutive wars. Israel’s land, air, and sea blockade has restricted the entry of construction materials into the strip, slowing down the reconstruction of destroyed and damaged structures including schools, hospitals, and homes. As a result, the Palestinian people are dependent on Israel and foreign aid for construction materials and equipment.
Within these intersecting forces of destruction and reconstruction, displacement and return, permanence and temporality, informality and formality, certainty and uncertainty, this thesis proposes methods to rebuild Gaza’s homes tested through the design of a multifamily residential unit in Beit-Hanoun, formed by its rubble and upon its ruins. In this project, rubble is imagined as a new building block, provoking new construction methods, which opportunistically leverage the material while embodying the recent destruction. The ruins are imagined not only as fragments of what used to be, but also as the first tracings of what can become.