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New Building Design for Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Located in the center of the cultural complex of the city, the new building design of  Tel Aviv Museum of Art was headed by architects the  Preston Scott Cohen and Amit Nemlich. This recently finished modern architectural work  had the objective the expansion of  Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is Israel’s leading museum of modern and contemporary art, and home to one of the world’s largest collections of Israeli art. Since its founding in 1932, the museum has served as one of Tel Aviv’s major cultural hubs, displaying a vibrant mix of permanent collections and temporary exhibitions in a wide variety of fields – painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, photography, video, architecture and design. The expansion program of the museum is an addition to the existing mastterplan, being built out of a dynamic network of spaces that define the museum’s interior.

The solution of architects for the tension between the tight, idiosyncratic triangular site and the museum’s need for a series of large, neutral rectangular galleries was to create a subtly twisting geometric surfaces (hyperbolic parabolas) that connect the disparate angles between the galleries and the context while refracting natural light into the deepest recesses of the half buried building. These gleaming white parabolas of the facade are composed of 465 flat, interlocking, precast concrete panels of different shapes and sizes. The building’s three floors are linked to two more below grade by an 87-foot-high, top-lit atrium, a “lightfall” that will shine on the world’s largest collection of Israeli art. The building’s confident yet supple geometries provide a nifty counterpoint to the museum’s main building, a 1971 Brutalist number by the Israeli architect Dan Eytan.

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Photos: Courtesy of Preston Scott.

Project info:

Client: Motti Omer, Director and Chief Curator
Size: 195,000 square feet (18,500 square meters), built on a triangular footprint of approximately 48,500 square feet (4,500 square meters)
Design Development and Construction Documents: 2005-2007;
Construction: 2007-2010
Project Budget: Est. $45,000,000
Program: includes Galleries of Israeli Art, Architecture and Design, Drawings and Prints, Temporary Exhibitions; Photography Study Center and Archives; Multidisciplinary Auditorium; Seminar and Conference Rooms; Art Library; Restaurant; Administrative Offices; Loading, Unpacking and Storage.
Project Consultants:
Project Management: CPM Construction Management Ltd.; Structural Engineers: YSS Consulting Engineers Ltd., Dani Shacham, Principal; HVAC: M. Doron – I. Shahar and Co., Consulting Eng. Ltd.; Lighting: Tillotson Design Associates, New York.
Project Team: Preston Scott Cohen, Inc., Cambridge, MA, Preston Scott Cohen (Design); Amit Nemlich (Project Architect). For other consultants and project team, please visit pscohen.

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