Israeli developer announces plans to build 'tallest building' in Israel

Tel Aviv's skyline is set to reach new heights with the planned construction of a 350-meters-tall building.

Artist's rendition of Azrieli Group's Spiral Tower (KPF)
Tel Aviv’s ever-changing skyline is set to reach new heights, with the planned construction of Israel’s newest skyscraper and tallest building yet – Azrieli Group’s “Spiral Tower,” the details were released on Wednesday.
Towering above the city’s other high-rise buildings at some 350 meters tall and costing NIS 2.5 billion ($670m.) to construct, the twisting 91-floor structure announced Wednesday will be connected to Azrieli Group’s three iconic circular, triangular and square skyscrapers in the heart of Tel Aviv.  
The tower was designed by New York-based architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF), the company behind five of the ten tallest buildings in the world, in collaboration with Moshe Tzur Architects. Construction is due to be completed in 2025, with excavation and the foundation work already under way at the 8,000 square-meter plot of land.
Spanning 150,000 square-meters, the new tower boasts the same floor space as the three Azrieli Group towers combined. It will provide a mixed use space featuring retail, offices, apartments and a hotel, in addition to 45,000 square-meters of parking spaces.
“We looked at a range of sources of inspiration for the design, including our history, nature, culture and values,” said Azrieli Group chairwoman Dana Azrieli.
“We looked at Jewish tradition, and we saw the Jewish people as the ‘People of the Book.’ We considered the curving shape of the megillah and the Torah,” she said, in addition to receiving inspiration from the curving lines of Tel Aviv’s strong Bauhaus tradition and the twist of a snail’s shell.
Under the plans, the Azrieli Center mall will undergo a significant 13,000 square-meter expansion, bringing the total floor space to 55,000 square meters. When combined with the Tel Aviv light rail currently under construction and the existing Tel Aviv Hashalom train station, 100,000 people are expected to pass through daily, this will make it a true gateway of transport to Tel Aviv. The roof of the shopping center will be transformed into a sprawling urban garden.
On a clear day, Azrieli said, it will be possible to see the city of Jerusalem from the tower. A gourmet restaurant and a private event space are expected to occupy the top floors of the building.
“This tower will grow out of the DNA of Tel Aviv’s existing square, circular and triangular towers,” KPF President James von Klemperer said.
“It seeks to be both dramatic but also gentle and harmonious. It does not seek to disturb or overpower, but to create harmony in this whole setting and remain respectful to the environment surrounding it.”
As Tel Aviv’s population and booming hi-tech scene continue to expand in the coming years, those behind the new tower expect to see demand for office and retail space grow.
“We only launched the nearby Sarona tower six months ago, and it is nearly 100% full,” said Azrieli. “The world of technology is coming to Tel Aviv. Amazon, Google and more are all doing their research and development work here. There is a great demand.”
Azrieli Group has been working closely with the municipality, she added, to make the area increasingly accessible for pedestrians. While the construction of the building and the Tel Aviv light rail are likely to cause short-term inconvenience, Azrieli promised a greatly-improved pedestrian experience once it is complete.
The Azrieli Center’s Circular Tower, currently the tallest of the three towers, was built beginning in 1996 and was completed in 1999.