|Gedera – The Biluim’s Shack|
|Conservation and Rehabilitation of a Wooden Structure|
|Orderer||Gedera Local Council and the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites|
The Biluim’s shack, located on the main street in the Gedera colony, is the last and only remains of six cabins that were erected in the colony at the beginning of 1888 and were used as dwellings by the settlers. For 5-10 years this wooden shack was the residence of the Sverdlov family, one of the founding families of the Gedera colony. The descendants of the family, Yigal and Chaya Sverdlov, donated the structure to the museum. In the 1980’s the shack was refurbished by the Avinadav family and in 1998 it was rehabilitated again by the Gedera Local Council, when metal supports were installed in it. Today the shack is used as an annex of the Biluim Museum.
The shack measures 5.25 x 7.20 m. In a later phase a small brick built room (2.45 x 2.80 m) was attached to the shack’s southern side. The shack’s structural frame was built of 8 x 8 cm wooden beams with horizontal beams installed in between. Diagonal beams were affixed to the corners of the structure to reinforce the frame. The outside of the wooden frame was covered with horizontal wooden planks. Some of the walls were filled with fieldstones mixed with bonding material and earth. The inside of the structure’s walls are treated with a layer of lime based plaster mixed with blue paint. The floor of the shack is made of black and white cement tiles (25 x 25 cm). The shack’s roof is made of original Marseilles tiles that are still in place today.
The conservation work includes:
· Removing the deteriorated parts of the wooden planks.
· Pest control
· Reinforcing the wooden frame and supporting parts of it that no longer fulfill their structural function.
· Restoring parts that have deteriorated in the structure’s outer facades.
· Filling in missing fieldstones and bonding material.
The preservation of the wood and the conservation intervention in the building reflect the original construction technology. The structural solution implemented for the frame of the building is such that it supports the original wooden planks with new wooden planks. Upon completing the renovation work the metal frame will be removed from the shack.
The development work at the site will be performed as part of an overall program to rehabilitate the Biluim Street according to a plan designed by the architect Gavriel Kertesz.
Note: as the professional arm specializing in conservation, the Conservation Department of the Antiquities Authority also occasionally takes on conservation and rehabilitation projects of historic sites according to an applicant’s request.
The project was conducted as a joint initiative of the Gedera Local Council and the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites.
The survey and preliminary documentation of the site were performed by Ofer Cohen (Eng.) and Tamar Tuchler.
Implemented by – Conservation Department, Antiquities Authority.
Consultant in Engineering Matters - Yaacov Schaffer, Eng.
The development work at the site was performed as part of an overall program to rehabilitate Biluim Street according to a plan designed by the architect Gavriel Kertesz.
To view the figures, click on the figure caption