Architects: Lea Katz Architecture
Location: Industrial Zone Holon, Tel Aviv, Israel
Project Team: Lea Katz, Marco Guarniei, Andrea Cincotta, Carmelo Zappulla
Structural Engineer: Horovitz – Buch Ltd
General Contractor: Lea Katz Construction
Project Area: 2,460 sqm (Production Area), 620 sqm (Administration Area), 2,500 sqm (Yard, Parking a Loading Bays)
Project Year: 2003-2006
Photographs: Amit Geron & Federico Devoto
One of the key aspects for success of Pack Line is the modular design of the machines. All the machines are based on modular components that are easily customized for each particular project.
Clean environment and hygienic working conditions are very important, since the main customers of Pack Line are food, pharmaceutical or beverage industries.
3. Crafted steel work
The steel work of Pack Line is famous for being one of the most crafted in the world. Ideal steel finishing and detailed design are very attractive aspects for most of the customers.
4. Simplicity of Complexity
“Simplicity is the secret of complexity “– President of Pack Line – Mr. Victor Katseli. The machines are as simple as they have to be in order to have high standards of performance and be user friendly, compact and attractive.
5. Environmental & Green
Talking about packaging = Talking about environment – green and environmental approach is the direction Pack Line attempts to achieve – it is constantly involved in developing new equipment for new, environmentally friendly packaging materials.
6. Family feeling
As family owned business, Pack Line has been always projecting a warm feeling of family to each of its customers. People visiting the headquarters should feel at home.
Visitors should clearly feel, while crossing the door of Pack Line that they are in the world of Packaging. Aspects such as stackable components, mass production, individuality, color or any other that are relevant to this field should be seriously considered in the design of the building.
Existing 1950th industrial shed with adjacent worker’s utilities building located within the biggest industrial zone of Tel – Aviv region, is the starting point of this process.
This typology of 1950th industrial shed is currently dominating the fabric of many industrial zones in Israel. To regenerate those zones we need to analyze the existing condition, to set new valid targets and to develop an efficient process of transformation between those 2 extremes on both urban and building scales.
The efficiency of this process is first of all questioned by the gap between the 2 states and consequently by the capital that has to be invested in order to shift from one state to another.
Pack Line Headquarters project is structured as prototypical process of regeneration.
The existing state was:
2000 sqm industrial shed – was used by 5 big companies during the past 55 years. Each company adopted the structure for their needs – walls were added on walls, columns connected to columns to support cranes that were carrying fridges on the production floor, tones of wiring and piping hanging from all the walls and ceilings, asbestos roof that was ripped off in some places, broken uneven floor that shifted by the movement of floating send foundations and in addition the structure was partly burned.
600 sqm of adjacent structure arranged on 2 floors – initially built as utilities space for the workers in the factory was adapted to office building. Being long and narrow, offices were organized on both sides of the central corridor. Low floor ceiling heights were decreased even more by 50 cm of suspended ceilings that contained tones of cabling and ducting.
2500 sqm of yard – is partly paved with old uneven asphalt over contaminated land. All the rain water from 2500 sqm roof area is drained into the space between the 2 buildings and from there into the blocked sewage system, while flooding most of the yard and the adjacent main road.
In all that we had to see the potentials:
The total area is almost sufficient to accommodate Pack Line’s programmatic requirements.
Local density and coverage constraints would allow adding another 480 sqm, so we added 180sqm of loading bay, 20 sqm of entrance area, 40 sqm of connection between the 2 buildings and 240sqm of gallery space inside of the shed.
All the concrete walls inside of the shed were not structural, so all the redundant walls and beams were removed and reorganized to accommodate the production process of Pack Line.
The existing roof structure is cleverly designed minimal truss supporting light roof panels. Asbestos was removed and berried in special place according to all the environmental regulations. The truss was treated and fully restored to take new light insulating panels.
The carrying columns were revealed after removal of all the walls to have funny shoulders that were carrying the crane beams. Those shoulders were restored to create new elegant shoulder columns that are organizing the production of the entire company. Each column is a working station and became an integrated part of the production plans.
Local temperature and lack of air-conditioning in 1950th generated efficient environmental section, which oriented towards the north, got in natural light, while minimizing the heat gain in the same time naturally ventilating the space. Air-conditioning system as well as artificial lighting was introduced, but both are used only 30% of what usually 2000 sqm would use in Tel Aviv climate.
The office structure being long and narrow generated new typology. Instead of the corridor – service wall was introduced. This service wall interacts between the open space office through which circulation takes place on one side and the private offices on the other side. The service wall contains the air conditioning, lighting, electricity, archiving and partitioning of the entire space. All is compactly packed in central spine. Central spine typology works in narrow structure, since the required distribution of light and air is only 4 meters to each side.
Once the existing structures were cleaned off all the redundant materials, walls and cables, there are 2 main operations:
1. Inserting new organizational diagram inside of it
2. Packing it with new skin.
The packaging operation is reinforcing the identity of Pack Line as manufacturer of Packaging Machines, that are designed to fill and seal mainly consumer food packaging. The new skin is treated as packaging material – using the old already insulating skin, new light aluminum panels are wrapping it with 20 cm average gap. This gap is creating an air barrier, reinforcing the insulation and in the same time contains all the systems that are connecting the building to the outside, such as drainage, main electrical and telephone cables, and sewage and vent ducts.
To reinforce the packaging identity, the doors and windows are hidden. The windows are behind perforated panels, those panels protect the interior from strong south light, so no internal curtains are any longer required. The doors and the corner details are developed to be invisible in order to reinforce the continuous wrap of the perfect packaging.
The aluminum corrugated panels associate with the corrugated packaging materials such as cardboard and in fact are developed on the same principle. Repetition and color dynamics are associating with the supermarket shelf that every one is familiar with.
Natural aspects are reinforced in the cracked floor finish, 7 meters water fall feature in the main entrance, and 6 meters aquarium in the directors office that stand on artificial grass carpet.
Nature is important for the branding of Packaging Company that intensively develops and supports environmental and sustainable packaging solutions.