Text description provided by the architects. The enclosed campus paradigm of Tel Aviv University is challenged for the first time in 34 years (second only to the Tel Aviv university art gallery opened in 1988) as a new building re-connects the city and the campus. The building, designed by PEZ in collaboration with Zarhy Architects, houses both R&D Center for a worldwide leading semiconductor company together with the Tel Aviv University Engineering Faculty, creating a unique meeting point for academia and industry.
Located on a prominent site on the hillside, The building changes the landscape of Tel Aviv’s main highway. It takes advantage of the site’s height elevation difference in order to create a diverse, accessible, and animated urban façade. Its open ground floor showcases learning spaces, lobby, and cafeteria and allows direct entry to the building from the city streets. A new generation of research buildings is introduced, abandoning the idea of academia as an enclosed and detached Ivory Tower and connecting it to the vibrant Tel Aviv urban life.
The building re-invents the idea of architectural flexibility by creating an exoskeleton, liberating the interior spaces from structural elements, and enabling endless layout possibilities. This exoskeleton consists of structural elements and an innovative sun-shading system, which re-interprets the brutalist brise-soleil tradition on campus in a contemporary manner, creating a striking architectural identity. Inside the flexible framework, a series of social spaces are created to encourage informal meetings, collaborations, and ultimately innovation. It is a new model of a research building – simple, efficient on one hand, and iconic on the other hand.
PEZ is an international architecture studio based in Basel, Switzerland, and Tel-Aviv, Israel. It was established by Pedro Peña Jurado and Daniel Zarhy as a continuation of their ongoing collaboration while working at Herzog & De Meuron. The studio is currently involved in numerous international projects and has won many international prizes and awards.