Thousands of people in Tel Aviv put together over 500,000 plastic building blocks to create the tallest LEGO structure in the world. The project was created in memory of 8-year-old Omer Sayag, who loved the toy blocks before he was taken by cancer in 2014.
The name Niemeyer stands for one thing above all: curves. Whether undulating lines, soaring domes, or swooping pillars that repeat in perfect rhythm, his designs reject “the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man” in favor of “the curved Universe of Einstein,” as he wrote in his 2000 memoir The Curves of Time. Indeed, a late interview with him was headlined “the architect who eradicated the straight line.”
But what happens to an artist who becomes wedded to a certain philosophy of form and pursues it exclusively for decades; does it become restrictive? I wonder whether Niemeyer ever questioned his monogamous dedication to the curve. Perhaps a certain restlessness drove the uncharacteristically sharp-edged plan of the Tel Aviv house he designed for hotel magnate Yekutiel Federmann—or perhaps it reflects the political and personal upheaval of the moment.
With the completion of the citywide light-rail expected in 2020, connecting Tel Aviv’s city center to neighboring Ramat Gan, Ramat HaHayal, Bat Yam, Jaffa, and Givatayim brings a new wave of residential architecture to transform the skyline. The city of Tel Aviv boasts the highest land value in the Middle East, and with this new connectivity it is only projected to increase demand and value.
The city Tel Aviv is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus and Eclectic Architecture-style builds. The original city plan was made in 1925 by Sir Patrick Geddes, and is about to witness a significant shift. To promote density, the “TAMA 38” policy gives developers the opportunity to add additional units and floors in exchange for updating the existing units and infrastructure.
The exhibition Social Construction: Modern Architecture in British Mandate Palestine, tracing the influence of international Modernism on the architectural vernacular that developed in Palestine during 1917–48, is on display at the Yale Architecture Gallery from August 31to November 18, 2017. Originally organized by the Israel Museum, in Jerusalem, the show draws inspiration from the extensive research of architects Ada Karmi-Melamede and Dan Price, whose accompanying book, Architecture in Palestine during the British Mandate, 1917–1948, explores not only the functional aspects of this new architecture but also the social values that shaped the defining language of this new architectural style. The original exhibition was curated and designed by Oren Sagiv, chief of exhibition design at the Israel Museum, with Eyal Rozen.
MYS Architects has been selected to design a new mixed-use high-rise in the northern business district of Tel Aviv, an area home to the city’s urban skyscraper belt. Called the “Egged Tower,” the project consists of a 65-story tower rising from a commercial podium, constituting one of the largest current construction projects in the city.
The tower will be clad in a unique panelized facade system that employs techniques developed in the “Function of Ornament” research course led by Farshid Moussavi at the Harvard GSD.
Researchers at the MIT Senseable City Lab have launched a new platform using Google Street View data to measure and compare the green canopies of major cities across the world. Treepedia, created in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, is an interactive website which allows users to view the location and size of their city’s trees, submit information to help tag them, and advocate for more trees in their area. In the development of Treepedia, the Senseable City Lab recognizes the role of green canopies in urban life, and asks how citizens can be more integral to the process of greening their neighborhoods.
White Elephants: Over-Budget, Unsuccessful, and Embarrassing Architecture Projects From Around the World
Not every piece of architecture can be an economic and social success. But there is one dreaded term reserved for only the mot wasteful of projects: "white elephants." The term comes from a story of the kings of Siam, now Thailand, who would reportedly gift sacred albino elephants to courtiers they didn't like. Refusing the gift from the king would have been unacceptable, but being sacred, these animals were forbidden from work, leading the courtier to financial ruin—a fact the kings knew all too well.
Of course, in architecture the term "white elephant" is used frequently to disparage certain projects, and whether a project is deserving of such infamy is usually a matter of perspective. Often eyesores or reminders of poorly spent funds, these projects refuse to be forgotten despite few wanting to remember them. Dotted around the world and across history, they all have the same thing in common: although they may (or may not) have once looked good on paper, they probably should have just stayed on paper.
Based on the duality of order and movement, the project centers on a large multi-purpose building with its programs spread throughout “like a measuring stick.”
The design is generally modeled after historic “Tel Pach” temporary housing, specifically “Nissen huts,” which were cabins built with steel and rounded tin pegs. The project utilizes simple materials, like steel and tin, as well as mineral plaster and wet masonry.
Atelier d’Architecture Michel Remon Wins Competition for Tel Aviv University Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Centre
Atelier d’Architecture Michel Remon has been announced as the winner of the Open International Competition for the Tel Aviv University Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Centre. The French company has a history of designing buildings for technological purposes, including the National Research Centre for Scientific Research (Meudon, suburb of Paris), the Physics and Biology Laboratories for Ecole Polytechnique (Palaiseau, suburb of Paris), the National Solar Energy Institute (Savoy), and the Paris-Saclay Research Сentre of Air Liquide. In Tel Aviv, a matrix of vertical lines creates a “skin” over a three story, 6,000 square meter structure that will house 12 research labs – including those for physical, biophysical, and neural engineering, as well as molecular electronics, and others – in addition to offices and public areas. Once complete, the building will house 120 scientists and engineers as collaborators with one of the most significant universities in Israel.
Three Finalists Announced for Tel Aviv University Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center Design Competition
Three finalists have been selected for the Tel Aviv University Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center Design Competition.
The competition called for designs to meet scientific needs and establish an identity befitting the local context of the city of Tel Aviv and the University campus. Thus, the three finalists created a balance between technical requirements and soft program elements like office and public space, presenting proposals for a center that acts "as an effective facilitator in the dialogue between modern science, Tel Aviv University, and the general public," according to a press release.
LocationTel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Design TeamSharon Neuman, Hila Tzur
Kimmel Eshkolot Architects has won the competition to design the Kaplan North Masterplan, covering an area of 32,000 square meters in central Tel Aviv. Once a secretive and secluded area, the space has been opened to new development due to the decision to relocate the headquarters of the IDF.
“Located between one of the city’s busiest intersections and its cultural center, the design creates a new gateway to Tel Aviv, which will be an innovative series of structures that will connect this fragmented area,” with the goal of creating a “sustainable coexistence between a busy urban space and an intimate residential neighborhood.”
Six Teams Shortlisted in Competition to Design the New Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center at Tel Aviv University
The six teams selected to participate in the second phase of design concept development for the New Nanoscience & Nanotechnology Center at Tel Aviv University (TAU) met representatives of the school and KB STRELKA in Tel Aviv, where a series of events were held.
o2a’s Proposed Tel Aviv University Building Controls Natural Light and Wind for a Sustainable Solution
o2a Studio has unveiled their proposal for the Lorry I. Lokey School of Management at Tel Aviv University. Part of an invited competition, the design brief required a two-phase proposal sited at the focal point of the Tel Aviv University Campus: an initial 3,500 square metres of classrooms, offices and an auditorium and a future 1,500 square metres of extra classes and offices. Though not selected for the final design of the school, the o2a Studio proposal for the Lorry I. Lokey School of Management encompasses contextual, programmatic and climatic concerns in an elegant solution. Read more about this proposal after the break.
Earlier today, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage should be legal in all 50 states, effectively overruling 14 states that so far have continued to enforce a ban (if you've been on Facebook in the last few hours, you've probably already heard). The ruling comes just in time for Pride Parades which will take place this weekend in many cities, and to celebrate this historic decision, we've rounded up some iconic buildings lit up for past Pride Parades for everybody to enjoy - equally.
Take a virtual walk down the streets of Tel Aviv with these illustrations of the city's facades by graphic designer Avner Gicelter. “My aim is to capture the unique essence of the building's features in my illustrations, using a minimal set of graphic elements,” he explained. “After the building's illustration is done I choose a background color out of a palette and a typeface that will reflect what I refer to as a Tel Avivian atmosphere."
Gicelter first had the idea to capture the unique architecture in Tel Aviv’s city center when apartment hunting in 2013. “I got more interested in the building's facade than in the apartments we were looking at,” he said. Since then he has illustrated over 70 different buildings.
Between 1945 and 1981 around 170 million prefabricated (prefab) residential units were constructed worldwide. Now, as part of a study undertaken by Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile between 2012 and 2014, an exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art features 28 large concrete panel systems from between 1931 and 1981. In so doing, it explores a transnational circulation of these objects of construction, "weaving them into a historical collage of ambitions and short-lived enthusiasm for utopian dreams."
This show, curated by Meira Yagid-Haimovici, is an attempt to reveal "how architecture and urbanism was charged with historical, social, and political narratives, and how the modernist vision promoted the fusion of aesthetics and politics." The models, which are being exhibited as part of the Production Routes exhibition, seek to highlight the richness embodied in 'generic' architecture through the lens of prefab construction methods.
LocationTel Aviv, Israel
Architect in ChargeTamar Berger
Design TeamIrene Goldberg, Tamar Berger, Pitsou Kedem
Photographs StylingEti Buskila