Holon Pride

New design museum boasts innovative architecture and serves as yet another cultural gem in the Tel Aviv suburb.

February 5, 2010 17:15
3 minute read.
Ron Arad's award-winning Design Museum Holon boast

design museum holon 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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I don’t get the suburbs. As a good friend of mine defined it, all suburban cities should be named Sleepytown. You either live in Sleepytown next to Tel Aviv, or in Sleepytown next to Jerusalem, and except for a local mall, any cultural need you might have is fulfilled by the nearby metropolitan hub. Then comes Holon.

Holon has been defined as a children’s city, with great parks full of statues depicting children stories, the Israeli Cartoon Museum, the Israel Children’s Museum and more. But now they’ve taken another cultural step, and established the Design Museum Holon, created by architect Ron Arad.

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“This unique museum couldn’t be built in any other city in Israel,” said Holon mayor Motti Sasson. “For the last decade, the municipality of Holon understood that a city without culture and art is like a city with no soul. Only a deep understanding that such a museum is an integral part of the city’s growth can lead to such a move [as well as] the enormous investments (NIS 65 million) involved in establishing the institute.”

Hanna Hertzman, general director of the Holon municipality and initiator of the project added, “Holon has already proven itself as a city combining education and culture. We have made it in the culture and children areas, and now we are breaking into the design area. This museum will affect the residents of the city, its visitors, and its industrialists and future development. It will establish Holon as a leading innovative city in another cultural field, and this time not just among Israeli residents but outside of Israel as well.”

Holon declared 2010 as a design year with special exhibitions taking place all around the city, and the design museum’s opening as the main event. The museum is intended to create, establish and lead a working design environment that will present design innovations in Israel and abroad. Even before its grand opening, the museum has already won international architectural recognition as one of the most original architectural achievements of the beginning of the 21st century. It was presented in the Pompidou Center in Paris, the MOMA in New York and won the yearly innovative award in Condé Nast Traveler magazine. It’s general size is 3,700 square meters. There are two main presentation halls – the larger one uses the abundance of natural light from outside, and filters it through shadowing bodies located in the ceiling. The smaller one uses artificial light and has a more intimate feel. The education wing acts as a design lab, and the inner yard will hold workshops, lectures and more.

Around the building are Corten steel straps, moving in a wavy manner, changing color according to the outside temperature. The entranceway in the building is on a slight incline, creating a more experiential visit. The straps are always in sight and provide visitors with a reference point to their location.

“It’s a well known fact, sadly accepted by the architecture world, that not every ideal and ambitious project gets fulfilled,” says designer Ron Arad. “Those that do get established, don’t always survive the harsh compromising wars and do not stand tall to preserve the initial, ideal concept. When I look and walk inside the museum today, after five years of models, simulations, talks, and constant visits to the work area, I’m pleased to say not only, ‘Yes! This is what we planned,’ but also to discover new aspects and directions that are surprising even to us.”


The Design Museum Holon is located at Golda Meir 6, Holon; (03)502-1555. The first exhibition opens March 3.

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