Through an innovative redesign by Yaniv Pardo Architects, the Netanya city center will be turned into a vibrant and exciting location, befitting a large metropolis. The municipality building will act as the city’s iconic landmark, an architectural milestone supporting the city’s unique urban landscape. The concept leans heavily on the residents of the city who will be using the space for a wide range of activities and services – cultural, social, leisure, commercial etc. Their movement across the space throughout the day will create a bustling urban center. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Through correct integration between existing city landmarks and the community’s needs, the building will project accessibility and a general welcoming tone. It will link the existing city landmarks, including the city square, public institutes and the shopping center (south of Herzl Street), and will incorporate a large car park servicing the municipal building and surrounding establishments. In order to facilitate outdoor events, conferences, receptions and youth events, a spacious square will be built outside of the municipal building (in the direction of Raziel Street), merging indoor and outdoor activities.
The tower, made of three prisms pointing in different directions, will become the city’s illuminating lighthouse, tying the urban ensemble together. In keeping with the general scheme of the project, the tower’s form, influenced by the city’s chosen symbol – the weather vane will also reflect a dynamic and vibrant feel, like a gust of wind coming up from the shore on a hot summer night, or, the wind of change arriving to transform ideas about Netanya’s city center. The grid was planned so as to create identity and community through a communicative design that’s also light and joyful. Illumination and transparency will extend from the lean tower soaring above, gazing out towards the sea, to the bright underground space which will light the square from below, making visible the city council activities and car park.
Communal planning priorities alongside a municipal agenda of accessibility and transparency were key elements in the design of the space. Contrary to the norm, communal and public service areas as well as the galleries and coffeehouse were allocated above ground spaces with a view of the city. To this effect, the city council hall will be built underground while still visible from the square, so to create public accessibility and transparency of the representatives’ work.
The new municipal building is planned as an environmental space, with geothermal planting above public spaces, Mashrabiya (or Shanasheel) windows, and high quality curtain walls providing isolation and solar control, all part of the sustainable design and construction.
The dual characteristics of the building, combining urban scales with landscape planning, also comes across in the manner in which the public spaces correspond. The upper floors, the highlight of the new urban composition, align perfectly with the diagonal axis facing west, representing the link between future and past.