HP:Mercury 3 / Amir Mann-Ami Shinar Architects and Planners

© Amit Goren

Architects: Amir Mann-Ami Shinar Architects and Planners
Location: HP campus, Industrial Area, Israel
Partner in charge: Amir Mann
Design Team: Asaf Mann, Danny Rozen, Sivan Hecht, Amit Haas
Client: Mercury Interactive/HP (The Israeli start-up company Mercury Interactive was bought by Hewlett-Packard mid-construction)
Completed: 2008
Area: 20,000 sqm
Construction: Omer Construction & Engineering
Project Manager: Amnon Regev
Photographs: Amit Goren

© Amit Goren

HP/Mercury 3 is the third building designed and built for HP, as part of an HP office campus in Yehud, near Tel Aviv.

HP 3 consists of an 8 floor high wood clad “egg”, which forms the building’s core, and includes all the service functions, as well as the meeting rooms, kitchenettes and the 250 seats auditorium. The “egg” is surrounded by open space work stations for 800 engineers, and is adjacent to an 8 floor high atrium.

© Amit Goren

The design of the building reflects the sophisticated high-tech functions which it houses:

The envelope of the building is seemingly a simple steel, aluminum and glass cube, yet from its center rises a huge wooden “egg”. A sharp contrast is created between the cold, angular, metalic envelope, and the warm, curvy wood-clad egg, which is washed in natural sunlight. The egg is seen from every part of the building – the open work areas, and the atrium which runs through all the floors. The egg finally emerges through the roof, next to a public terrace.

© Amit Goren

The interaction between the central egg, the open office space and the atrium creates a unique working environment:

The core area, which is usually a dark, closed off space, is designed as a building within a building – a spatial body floating within the glass envelope. It give the open work spaces surrounding it a warm wooden center, which serves as a prominent anchor and allows for clear orientation.

3d study east

The public spaces are designed to encourage maximum random social/professional interactions, through the use of an open central staircase and multiple bridges which criss-cross the atrium.

3d study north

HP 3 has won several national architecture prizes, including a prize for office buildings design by the Israeli Architecture Magazine, and a prize by the Association of

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "HP:Mercury 3 / Amir Mann-Ami Shinar Architects and Planners" 05 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Dec 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=197358>
  • plots

    looks an awful lot like Grimshaw’s work on EMPAC

    • AJ

      I’m with you, although I thought of Richard Rogers’ Bordeaux Law Courts

  • Poulin Giroux Alexandre

    Le toit est emballant. L’utilisation d’un métal clair pour toute la façade du bâtiment est intéressant. Le bâtiment a été bien réalisé.

  • suri

    cool building, awful architects.

    • shin

      what do you mean awful architects?

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  • bLogHouse

    I usually give the benefit of the doubt for look-alike designs, but this one is a shameless rip-off of Grimshaw’s EMPAC in Troy, NY. Even the material of the “egg” is the same. Blatant plagiarism!

    • bugo

      I would not think of it as a rip off because Grimshaw’s EMPAC in Troy was completed in about the same times as the HP building and was not published during its construction period.
      Great minds probably think alike, or read Rogers’ books

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  • Danny Rozen

    Hi all,
    Just to set the facts straight (or diagonal..):
    I was the architect in charge of this building all through the design and through most of the construction. I can assure you that, as Bugo says – We were never aware of Grimshaw’s building, as it was not published until after the HP building was nearly finished. At that point, we were startled at the resmemblence ourselves (We did know Rogers’ law courts). BUT – we were actually not so surprised, because we had spent a long time looking for alternatives for the wood cladding of the “egg” element, until we realized that the only way to achieve smooth coverage of such a form with flat planks of wood is to go in diagonals, which enable the double curvature without suffering a warping of the planks as they are bent (we called it the “banana” effect”). This is why both Rogers and Grimshaw used the excact same method: going in proper horizontals or verticals is not an option with planks. As we intended to use the much stiffer PRODEMA, and not natural wood (which we did eventually use for everything but the rooftop exterior bit), flexibility issues were even more crucial to the selected solution.