The Flour Mill, Jerusalem

Ran & Morris share their design philosophy for this project, which was deeply rooted in the idea of storytelling, reflected through the use of unconventional materials that resonate with the rich tapestry of this unique location’s history and culture…

Nestled within the historic and enigmatic heart of Jerusalem lies a symbol of resilience and tradition lesser known to many: the Flour Mill, established in 1950. For more than six decades, this mill has not only been a vital source of flour for Jerusalem and its environs but also a keeper of secret silos. The Flour Mill is more than a mere provider of a staple; it encapsulates the rich past and history of Jerusalem.

Our role in this journey was to design the main lobby and the rest of the public spaces in this complex, a task that presented us with the complex challenge of marrying the project’s forward-thinking ideals with the fundamental essence of flour. As STORY CATCHERS, our ethos is to unearth and illuminate the real, local, and concealed stories rather than fabricating them. Our objective was to safeguard and magnify the narrative of flour and its historical production site for everyone’s appreciation.

The domestication of wheat signifies a monumental shift from a nomadic existence to a settled life, marking a significant revolution. The age-old practices of cultivating wheat and its transformation, influenced by the natural elements of wind and stone and evolving through softness, flow, and grinding to incorporate advanced technological interventions, are preserved in our narrative. Our design journey led us to rediscover and reconnect with the elemental aspects of Jerusalem’s Flour Mill: its motion, wind, the contrast of softness and hardness, its future, and its secrecy.

In our design, we delve into the intertwined elements of flour production through ages, linking these to a contemporary reality that resonates with the entrepreneur’s vision for the guests and residents of the project. This endeavor not only pays homage to the age-old craft of flour milling but also showcases a harmonious fusion of traditional values with modern design and technological innovations.

The space we envisioned is a tribute to the legacy of the mill, integrating movement and flow elements reminiscent of the wheat grinding process. Our choice of materials, including Corian for its flexibility in design and execution, wall claddings that provide a more natural aesthetic with textures of porcelain tiles, metals processed and shaped with CNC technology, and a sloped concrete ceiling echoing the silos of the past, reflects the dual nature of softness and hardness intrinsic to the milling process. The overall ambiance captures the mill’s forward-looking vision and its enigmatic history, creating an environment that aligns with the project’s ethos of progress and globalism, all while staying deeply connected to the authentic tale of Jerusalem and its flour mill.

This project serves as a conduit between the past and the future, intertwining tradition with innovation. By embracing the narrative of Jerusalem’s Flour Mill, we demonstrate how a space can encapsulate history, functionality, and aesthetic values, thus enriching the experiences of those it welcomes. Our approach stands as a testament to the transformative power of design in capturing and accentuating the essence of a place, making it an essential element in the art of storycatching.

Main image courtesy: Ran & Morris


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