Tel Aviv Arcades
Architect: Studio Precht
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Text from Penda:
Measuring 116 m in height, the condominium tower features 17.650 square meters of residential areas on 18 ﬂoors. The building will house a range of residential layouts from 1-bedroom to 4 bedroom apartments as well as penthouses with double-height spaces on its top. A cave-like pool and spa area will occupy the base of the building, while community areas like a yoga-studio, a restaurant and shelter spaces are shared on the ﬁrst 2 ﬂoors and cores. (cont. below)
‘When I ﬁrst walked through Tel Aviv, I was taken by the vividness on its streets and its shores. The rhythm of lively plazas, traditional context and modern architecture inspired me and had a deep impact on the design of the building,’ says Chris Precht.
Tel Aviv has a mediterranean climate and enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year. It was clear from the beginning that the building shouldn’t be a generic glass tower, but rather respond to its climatic challenges. ‘We mainly looked to the past and how previous generation built in Mediterranean regions. Designing in a warm climate is not about maximising glass-facades and a continues AC-run. It’s about creating a design that offers views on one hand, but minimises its openings to direct sunlight on the other. The arch is an expression of this approach and improves the buildings structural capacities and energy performance at the same time.’
Therefor the building is mainly deﬁned by one element: the arch. It is an architectural form with a broad history and meaning. The arch was a direct structural interpretation of the cave, our ancestors ﬁrst ‘apartments’. But the arch was not just used as a structural span, but was also seen as a ‘welcoming gesture’ of and entrance to buildings and cities.
We tried to recreate this gesture in a rhythmic layout of an arched structure and cascading terraces, that deﬁned the facade of the building and reﬂects the vividness of Tel Aviv. It allows the building to be open to its surrounding, but not exposed to its climate.
The apartments are encircled by ribbons of terraces. These terraces are a shading device, that shield off direct sunlight and cool down the interiors in a natural way. Each room of the apartments has direct access to the outdoor area by arched elements. Through this transparency the terraces can be seen as an continuing extension of the interior spaces.
The undulating setbacks of the ﬂoors creates 2 different typologies of terraces: Roofed ones, that provide protection from the sun and open terraces that are more exposed to sunshine and rain and offer an ideal area for growing a garden. They are also varying in privacy: The inbound terraces give a large private space to the residents, where the outbound areas invite residents to cross-ﬂoor communication. ‘We like to think about those large outdoor zones as private yards in the sky with zones where residents can interact with their neighbours. In a way the terraces are a vertical neighbourhood and they reﬂect the positive atmosphere of the life in the city,’ says Precht’s founding partner Chris Precht.
Materiality and Form:
For Architects, Tel Aviv is an inspiring city as it features the largest display of buildings from the Bauhaus. An era that was driven by openness, formal clarity and rational geometry. Straight lines and circular elements were deﬁning the style of art, products and architecture. With its clear design-language of arches and lines, the ‘Tel Aviv Arcades’ can be seen as a tribute to this era and a formal connection to its Bauhausian neighbourhood. As the tower is designed in a modular system, large parts of the structural elements can be prefabricated to lower costs of construction and maintenance.
The building is also inspired by the old town of Tel Aviv called Jaffa. From stone-paved alleys to the thick stone walls of its ancient buildings: Jaffa is a haptic wonderland. The old town with its profound masonry and rough materiality is an inspiration for architects. With the ‘Tel Aviv Arcades’ we tried to complement this timeless craft with hand-laid brickwork as a facade of the building.
‘A high-rise shouldn’t be an island in the city without any relation to its surrounding. A glass-tower though, is the formal illustration of an island without a connection. Its unsustainable in southern regions, it’s a bad neighbour as it heats up its surrounding and it lacks a sense of identity. Even if we design modern buildings, we believe they should reﬂect a sense of place and respect its environment, its history and its culture.’