(photo credit: Courtesy)
It’s not every day that ultra-chic Tel Aviv takes its cue from plebian Holon.
But that’s what is going to happen later this fall, when construction begins on
a snazzy, Rehov Hayarkon luxury condominium tower designed by Ron Arad, the
London-based starchitect and sculptor who created Holon’s year-old Design
Arad’s Tel Aviv six-storey, sea-view instant landmark features
curved balconies that pay homage to the White City – Tel Aviv’s nonpareil
assembly of more than 4,000 Bauhaus-inspired 1930s and 1940s buildings which
earned it UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2003. Arad was inspired by those
historic buildings, many of which incorporated pilotis or columns, leaving a
ground-floor garden – and allowing the sea breezes to blow through.
grew up in a Tel Aviv that was built on stilts.
Small footprint of the
entrance floor; Overhanging block above, sheltering an outdoor space
the garden,” explained Arad in an e-mail from his London office.
we maintained that precious space without the favors of the stilts. The
responsibility of cantilevering the mass of the building is discreetly
the floors and walls. With the help of a rich network of tensioning
these walls and floors perform above and beyond (literally) their
roles as the structural grid of the building.” Commissioned in 2006 by
Paris-based developer Sami Marziano, the awkward, 1,100-sq.
lot at the corner of Rehov Am Israel Chai presented Arad with the
how to maximize both views to the sea and living space.
solution was to bury post-tensioning cables within the concrete
structure to support the building’s staggered masses.
Hayarkon, the 11-apartment tower is dramatically cantilevered seven
the garden, seemingly suspended in the air.
“Additionally, a deep
transfer structure embedded within the second-floor slab and a deep
at roof level form the lower and upper limits of a compressed structural
transferring loads via the monolithic concrete shells which form the
each apartment,” Arad noted.
ARAD, 59, was educated at Jerusalem’s
Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and at the Architectural Association
of Architecture in London. He was honored by an exhibit last fall at New
prestigious Museum of Modern Art.
Entitled Ron Arad: No Discipline, the
museum show celebrated the designer’s interdisciplinary and
MoMA hailed Arad as having “produced an outstanding array of
innovative objects over the past 25 years, from almost unlimited series
objects to carbon fiber armchairs and polyurethane bottle racks. He has
designed memorable spaces, some plastic and tactile, others ethereal and
“Arad relies on the computer and its rapid manufacturing
capabilities as much as he relies on the soldering apparatus in his
workshop. His beautiful furniture can even receive and display SMS and
messages from mobile phones and Palm Pilots.
surprising, and also very beautiful, Arad’s designs communicate the joy
invention, pleasure and humor, and pride in the display of their
The exhibition subsequently toured in Paris’s Musée
National d’Art Moderne / Centre Georges Pompidou.
Closer to home, the
Holon municipality selected Arad to create an iconic design for the
Design Museum. The award-winning project, together with institutions
Holon Institute of Technology, the Mediatheque, the National Cartoon
Egged Bus Museum and the Israel Children’s Museum, were intended to have
“Bilbao effect” of putting the once-drab city built on the sand dunes on
The term refers to architect superstar Frank
Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which transformed the rusted-out
post-industrial backwater into a major tourist destination.
Not all of
Arad’s cutting edge projects have been so successful, however. His
design for a major sculpture at the foot of downtown Jerusalem’s
pedestrian mall came to naught in 2007 following a kerfuffle about
Square “Rapoport Plaza” in honor of the Waco, Texas tycoon who pledged
million for the sculpture and urban improvements there.