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At a distance of about a kilometer, northeast, to the Check Post intersection known to all Haifaites, there is one of Haifa's largest malls known today as "Sinemall" but better known by its former name, aka the "Heart of the Gulf" mall.

Heart of the Bay Mall: despite the missile, business as usual

The "Heart of the Gulf" mall is among the first malls built in Israel. Its construction began in 1989 and ended in 1992. The project was designed by the Haifa Architects Office established by the architect Uzi Gordon.

The building consisted of three commercial floors with businesses of various types, an underground parking lot and an above-ground parking lot on the third floor. On this third floor there was also an amusement park called "Kif-Kaf Land" which closed in 2000 and in its place a branch of the "Assuta" hospital was opened. Also, there was a cluster of movie theaters called "Rab-chen".

Cinemall Mall (Heart of the Bay) in Haifa (Photo: Dr. David Bar On)

During the Gulf War, shortly before its grand opening, the mall suffered a direct hit from a Scud missile launched from Iraq that was probably aimed at hitting the nearby refineries. This fact was used for publicity by the entrepreneurs who left a model of the missile at the site. It was a popular attraction that drew a large crowd to the new mall. At the same time the advertisement announced that "despite the missile, business as usual".

Cinamol - both a mall and a cinema

In the years 2005-2008 the original building underwent renovation and expansion. The new (north) wing is actually a large complex that includes 23 sophisticated movie theaters and because of this the name of the entire building was changed to Cinemall. The cinemas, with innovative equipment, belong to the "Planet" chain, thus making the mall the largest cinema in Israel. 2 underground parking levels were also added. The cinemas injected "new blood" into the mall and business boomed.

"Heart of the Bay" train station

In 2001, in cooperation with Israel Railways and fully funded by the developers of the mall, the Lev Hamfaretz train station was established. The passage of passengers to the station passes inside the mall between the various commercial areas, thus creating an increased traffic of a crowd of potential buyers, similar to existing in the Azrieli Mall connected to the Peace Station in Tel Aviv. It is a successful concept that is implemented in many places in the world, which benefits everyone involved.

Gordon Architects, the planners of the building

Odi Gordon, born in Haifa (1941), graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Technion in 1967. In 1970 he opened his independent office. In 1977 the firm became a planning company named "Gordon Architects and Urban Planners Ltd."

In recent years, the firm has expanded by adding a number of associate architects. The staff, numbering about 75 employees, includes architects, urban planners}Yam, interior designers and engineers. Over the years, the firm has won many awards in various architectural competitions.

The firm has extensive experience in the concentration of large projects, rich in systems and infrastructures that require coordination with consultants from various fields. His clients include government ministries, local authorities, Israel Railways, the Technion and more.

Among the projects planned by the office in Haifa are, besides the Cinemall Mall - Lev Hamfaretz: the Hamfaretz cable car station, the Carmel Beach train station, the Gulf Central train station and the Segol shopping mall at the Rambam Hospital.

My thanks are hereby given to Neta Warda of "Gordon Architects and Urban Planners Ltd" for their help in obtaining the information necessary to complete the article.

Dear readers,

The articles in this section are based on open information published in sources such as Wikipedia and other websites and may include various historical inaccuracies arising from the aforementioned sources.

Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Dr. David Bar On
Dr. David Bar On
Dr. David Bar On • Architect and urban planner

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6 תגובות

  1. Well done my friends David Brown. I visited this place with my friend Abigail. This place is amazing. Shabbat Shalom to you and the readers.

    • Thanks so much for your response. Your claim is not justified. In all my articles I dedicate a chapter to the building's contents, with the aim of presenting to the public its creators that everyone ignores. Shabbat Shalom!

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