Text description provided by the architects. Situated on one of Israel’s most breathtaking waterfronts, the Tel Aviv Port was plagued with neglect since 1965, when its primary use as an operational docking port was abandoned. The recently completed public space development project managed to restore this unique part of the city, and turn it into a prominent, vivacious urban landmark.
The public space design was a winner of an open competition, initiated in 2003 by the new port management as part of an ambitious new vision they set for the port's regeneration, which included public space renewal and the restoration of the port's old hangars. The competition's winning submission (by Mayslits Kassif Architects in collaboration with Galila Yavin) was vigorously brought to life, and visitors were flocking to the revamped port even before the project was completed.
The architects viewed the project as a unique opportunity to construct a public space which challenges the common contrast between private and public development, and suggests a new agenda of hospitality for collective open spaces.
The design introduces an extensive undulating, non-hierarchical surface, that acts both as a reflection of the mythological dunes on which the port was built, and as an open invitation to free interpretations and unstructured activities. Various public, political and social initiatives – from spontaneous rallies to artistic endeavors and public acts of solidarity – are now drawn to this unique urban platform, indicating the project’s success in reinventing the port as a vibrant public sphere.
Rosa Barba European Landscape Award
The Regeneration project of the public Spaces of the Tel Aviv Port by Mayslits Kassif Architects was announced the winner of the Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize, during the 6th Biennial of landscape architecture in Barcelona on the beginning of October.
The Rosa Barba Prize is the most renowned prize for landscape architecture in Europe, which is given as part of the European biennial of landscape architecture that takes place every two years in Barcelona. This year, 427 projects were submitted to the competition, out of which 9 have been announced as finalists. The Regeneration project of the public Spaces of the Tel Aviv Port was presented during the Biennial Symposium and was chosen by the jury as the winner of the Rosa Barba award. Along with the Rosa Barba prize the project was also awarded the Audience choice 1st prise.
The port's public spaces regeneration project is considered one of the most influential public spaces projects in Tel Aviv. Alongside receiving international recognition and several prestigious architectural awards, it receives great affection from the public and is ranked as the most beloved recreation space by the inhabitants of Tel Aviv's metropolitan area. Being a new urban landmark which revives the city's waterfront, the project became a trigger for a series of public space projects along Tel Aviv’s shoreline which altogether revolutionize the city's connection to its waterfront.