This project was developed in collaboration with Jeoshua-Gutman-LOT, was awarded 2nd on a 3 round international competition.
The new building for the Tel-Aviv Museum acts as catalyst that enhances the cultural complex where the building is sited. The museum is not only an exhibition/presentation area, but rather an infrastructure that supports the production and transmission of knowledge, and that maintains culture and education as ongoing, dialogical activities. To allow this and to satisfy the brief’s requirements concerning phases and areas, the building is organized through a vertical sedimentation of programs and structures.
The exhibition areas form a roof over a collective space – the lobby – articulating the three existing open spaces surrounding it, giving access to the existing Museum, the Opera Square and the elevated garden; while the auditorium, storage and part of the educational program all support and configure the basement for the whole complex. The more public components of the educational program become portions of this collective space and begin a gradual transition from the public spaces, through the education, to the exhibition areas.
The exhibition halls, the library and the rest of the upper programs form a floating box . A machine that controls the entry of light is formed by several devices, which carry out different roles along it’s distribution: the first device is a skin composed of strips, which react to the different programs and when necessary, transmits light and scenic views to various parts of the building. A second main device is the roof that illuminates (with Northern light) the upper hall galleries from above, altered according to the need of the different exhibitions. A third element is a series of diagonals: the entire upper part of the building is supported by a structure that consists of a series of vierendeel-like beams. These free the exhibition halls of columns and host all the circulation and light entrances (with continuous views towards the public park to the West and to the existing Museum Square to the East). The diagonals span over the collective space using minimal supports. The diagonal layout of the structure allows us to optimise the spaces, negotiating the external triangular shape of the plot with the internal requirements of the exhibition halls. These diagonals concentrate all of the programs that support the exhibition areas and the library, and have the characteristic of being mainly translucent. They allow a controlled transparency from inside during the day and reversedly during the night, when the box becomes a ´lamp´ which illuminates the open public spaces around the building.
Different parts of the program are given autonomous, vertical circulation schemes within the diagonals. The resulting circulation pattern provides a system in which halls may be opened/closed independently of one another, thus avoiding interference with the rest of the museum’s activities. This way, the lobby and the diagonals provide autonomy to the restaurant, the auditorium, the education area and the library, which have their own control and access areas, guaranteeing the possibility of a wider range of schedules and users, independently from those of the exhibition areas. This flexibility of the management of the building program opens its potential to be seen as the support for cultural activities that go beyond exhibiting.