Tel Aviv Museum of Art

By Preston Scott Cohen:

Located in the center of the city’s cultural complex, the program for the Tel Aviv Museum of Art Amir Building posed an extraordinary architectural challenge: to resolve the tension between the tight, idiosyncratic triangular site and the museum’s need for a series of large, neutral rectangular galleries. The solution: subtly twisting geometric surfaces (hyperbolic parabolas) that connect the disparate angles between the galleries and the context while refracting natural light into the deepest recesses of the half buried building.

The building represents an unusual synthesis of two opposing paradigms for the contemporary museum: the museum of neutral white boxes and the museum of architectural spectacle. Individual, rectangular galleries are organized around the “Lightfall”, an eighty-seven foot tall spiraling atrium. The building is composed according to multiple axes that deviate significantly from floor to floor.

In essence, it is a series of independent plans and steel structural systems stacked one atop the other, connected by geometric episodes of vertical circulation. The new building refers to the original building in such a way that the two can be seen as having a family resemblance. At the same time, it relates to a larger tradition of the new that exists within Israeli architectural culture.

The multiple vocabularies of Mendelsohn and Bauhaus Modernism in Tel Aviv are resynthesized in an architectural language that is internationalist and progressive in its cultural orientation.

Client: Motti Omer, Director and Chief Curator

Project Team: Preston Scott Cohen, Inc., Cambridge, MA, Preston Scott Cohen (Design); Amit Nemlich (Project Architect); Tobias Nolte, Steven Christensen, Guy Nahum, Gjergj Bakallbashi, Bohsung Kong (Project Assistants); Models: Jonathan Lott (Lightfall); Isamu Kanda (Massing in Situ); Renderings: Chris Hoxie (Exterior, Lightfall); Agito Design Studios (Lobby and Gallery Views); Competition Project Team: Scott Cohen, Cameron Wu, Andrew Saunders, Janny Baek; Competition Consultants: Ove Arup and Partners, Caroline Fitzgerald, Tom Dawes, Mark Walsh-Cooke (Structural and MEP); Hanscomb Faithful and Gould (Cost Estimator) Project Schedule: First Prize Winner in the Herta and Paul Amir International Competition, 2003; Design Development and Construction Documents, 2005-2007; Construction, 2007-2010

Project Budget: Est. $45,000,000

Program: 200,000 sq. ft (18,500 m2) includes Galleries of Israeli Art, Architecture and Design, Drawings and Prints, Temporary Exhibitions; Photography Study Center and Archives; Multidisciplinary Auditorium; Seminar and Conference Rooms; Art Library; Restaurant; Administrative Offices; Loading, Unpacking and Storage.

General Contractor: Hezkelevitch Engineering

Project Management: CPM Construction Management Ltd.; Structural Engineers: YSS Consulting Engineers Ltd., Dani Shacham, Principal; HVAC: M. Doron – I. Shahar and Co., Consulting Eng. Ltd.; Lighting: Tillotson Design Associates, New York; Accessibility: Michael Roitman; Acoustics: M.G. Acistical Consultants Ltd.; Alluminum: Landman; Auditorium: David Braslavi; Cost Estimation: Gamzo; Electrical: U. Brener – A. Fattal Electrical and Systems Engineering Ltd.; Elevators: ESL- Eng. S. Lustig – Consulting Engineers Ltd.; Food Services: Zonnenstein; Maintenance: Valtman; Multi-media: Gera Yoav; Public Shelter: K.A.M.N; Safety: S. Netanel Engineers Ltd.; Sanitation: Gruber Art System Engineering Ltd.; Security: H.M.T., Tel Aviv; Soil: David David; Survey: B. Gattenyu; Traffic: Dagesh Engineering, Traffic and Road Design Ltd.; Waterproofing: Bittelman;

Photography: Iwan Baan, Ohad Malaton


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