Iin a beachside residential area of Herzliya, a town located in the north of Tel Aviv, the Theodor Herzl Center for Culture, Art, and Content (TEO) designed by A.Lerman Architects comes into view as a distinct single-storey building, eminently lower than the neighbourhood’s enclosed private mansions. The freestanding TEO opens up a wide panorama toward the west — the horizon over the ocean — interrupting the visual and social narrative of walled luxury villas this area of Herzliya is known for. The insertion of a fully exposed public cultural centre as an event in the surrounding urbanscape was key to the design strategy.
TEO provides a one-of-its-kind functional facility to the affluent city’s art-practicing and culture-seeking residents. The plan is designed within a 50 by 50 m2 site around an offset central patio, surrounded by the various programmes: a music conservatory, a dance school, art and ceramics studios, a gallery, a senior recreation center, and a cafeteria. An upper partial floor houses a library complemented by a 300 m2 open deck.
A.Lerman Architects, founded in 2006 by Asaf Lerman, an alumnus of London’s Architectural Association, has designed several public institution buildings in Israel. Its working methodology is based on a carefully thought through analysis of the site and the mapping of its various contexts.
The uniqueness of the design lies in the coherence of a precise geometric module that is strictly enforced throughout; concrete (on-site casts & precast units), textured glass, and metal flow seamlessly from exterior to interior surfaces. Cutting-edge sealing techniques were used to protect the building from the rain while maintaining its flat roof silhouette and tight proportions.
The 292 m2 patio offers a quiet but welcoming space. The cantilevered, draining floor provides a pleasing horizontal surface from which a single mature oak tree rises. Direct sunlight from above dynamically projects its presence across the patio’s surfaces, creating ever-changing visual compositions of organic against geometrical form.
Client: Herzliya Development Company Ltd.
Completion year: September 2019
Built area: 2,500 m2
Location: Herzliya, Israel
Principal architect: Asaf Lerman
Project architects: Danielle Nagila, Nimrod Schenkelbach, Itai Bachor
See the full image gallery here:
Photos: Amit Geron, Nimrod Levy
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