When we hear the words “Israeli architecture,” most people think of the Bauhaus buildings of Tel Aviv that gave the White City its nickname. Although these UNESCO World Heritage sites are a thing to admire, they are not the only stunning attractions in Israel worth a double-take. It’s been over a century since the very first house was built in Tel Aviv and in that time, some incredibly innovative architects have designed and constructed modern structures that continue to push the boundaries of Israeli architecture. Here are five stunning people and projects worth ogling at:
Preston Scott Cohen - Herta and Paul Amir building (Tel Aviv Museum of Art)
The Herta and Paul Amir building in Tel Aviv was designed by Preston Scott Cohen as an extension of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Comprised of acute angles and linear lines, the horizontal “radiator” model is a geometric work of art. The Harvard University School of Design Graduate combines modern techniques with 17th century descriptive geometry to come up with stunning final products: complex architectural designs that challenge usual conceptions of ordered architecture. The Herta and Paul Amir building's 430 polished cement panels manufactured on location make use of natural lighting while uniting all spaces that surround it.
27 Shaul HaMelech Blvd, Tel Aviv
Ron Arad - Design Museum Holon
Immediately after finishing his $17 million project, Ron Arad’s Design Museum in Holon was coined “one of the new world wonders” by Conde Nast Travel magazine. The mesmerizing building is enrobed in a red ombre of giant steel strips that are as structurally chic as the fashion exhibits that await inside. In setting out to create a structure that encompassed and expressed the principles of design, Arad not only met the challenge, he exceeded expectations. His final product seamlessly blends textural, spatial and optical experiences that capture the eyes of museum visitors before even entering the Design Museum itself.
8 Pinkhas Eilon St, Holon
Moshe Safdie - Yad Vashem, Alrov Mamilla Avenue, The David Citadel Hotel
Moshe Safdie believes that “architecture can look to the future and integrate the past.” By working with existing structures and integrating stones from old buildings into his Jerusalem-based designs, Safdie maintains and even amplifies the city’s character. He works with one notion in mind: to juxtapose the old with the new. Perhaps this is why he chose the most ancient of cities to design his iconic architectural masterpieces. As the architect of Alrov Mamilla Mall and Hotel, The David Citadel Hotel and Yad Vashem, the architectural genius has slowly developed a design dynasty that spans Jerusalem. He is also internationally acclaimed for the creation of geometric landmarks such as Montreal’s Habitat67.
Alrov Boulevard, 6 Yitshak Kariv St, Jerusalem
Haim Dotan – Ashdod Performing Arts Center
When it comes to modern architecture, there’s nothing quite like the Ashdod Performing Arts Center. Some say it takes on the shape of a stylized soaring whale, while others interpret the center as soaring waves. Here in lies the genius of architectural pioneer Haim Dotan, who bleeds his soul into his cutting-edge urban designs. Dotan is constantly creating a new language in the global architectural landscape that designers worldwide spend years trying to understand. Each of Dotan’s fluid masterpieces crafts its own narrative, one that depends on the perspective of the bystander. The $100 million concert hall captures the light and sea breezes of its surroundings and is even more exquisite at night.
Urich Plesner - Beit Gabriel
Set on the scenic Sea of Galilee, Beit Gabriel is as peaceful in design as it is in history. This Jordan Valley social and cultural center nestled on the shores of the Kinneret provides the setting for the November 1994 peace treaty signing between Jordan and Israel. The house’s unique contrast between beige stone and bright green gardens is the concept of Ulrich Plesner and his team of architects. Plesner’s design won the Rechter Prize, a highly esteemed award in the architectural community. The stone structure is as much a work of art as the pieces displayed inside its gallery and exhibition spaces.
Jordan Valley, on the Kinneret