2020  TAU School of Architecture  /  Tel Aviv

Client: Azrieli Foundation
Size: 8000sqm
Program: Institutional, Public
Computer Images: Studio Bonsai

Beyond the function it serves, a school of architecture must also present and represent its own pedagogic agenda, to be a structure that contains and expresses principles that would stand as a model for the students, the faculty and the community. an integrated structure that faces the challenge of connecting the campus and the city, a bridge between past and future. Aiming to honor and expose the original texture and the existing buildings in the campus, we created a vertical act – a building that climbs up while clearing off the ground, relates to the past and at the same time constitutes a contemporary environment for study and research.

The design relays on two perpendicular axes: the south-north axis of Haim Levanon street that separates the city from the campus, and the east-west axis of Einstein Street - the campus' entry axis and one of its main lateral axes. A long, low, horizontal mass of two floors runs along the Haim Levanon axis and contains all the public functions: commerce, art gallery and archive, and perpendicularly, the auditorium hovers above the entry axis like a treasure chest. The transparent auditorium lays out the direction, indicates and marks the integral structure as the entrance portal to the campus. The library's spacious reading hall, located above the commerce and archive floors, broadens the public space of Antin square, connects and draws it up into the school. The library opens to an urban terrace, an embracing "loggia", an organic front facing west, designed as a landscape system that relates to the bordering Ramat-Aviv A neighborhood. The trees for this horizontal landscape were selected out of the original variety that had been planted in the neighborhood by the landscape architects Lipa Yahalom and Dan Zur. From here the icon twists, curves and sprouts up like a periscope with large openings in different directions that view the campus and the city. The deep terraces form a spiral movement upward, a vertical promenade that climbs from Antin Square up to the rooftop. In resemblance to the other modernist buildings on the campus, we designed the school of architecture with formal simplicity: the facades are characterized by planes of bare white concrete; planes of glass of varied transparency levels enable far views; and elements of Brise Soleil shade and filter the sunlight.

Beyond the urban, environmental and design aspects, our proposal re-examines some of the standard architectural solutions used in educational buildings. Unlike horizontal schools, the vertical school organizes the various study spaces one on top of the other, stacked in a 9 floors tower, each floor differs from the other by simple parameters: their measurements, set by the deep terraces, their height which varies from 3.0 to 6.00 meters, and of course the floor's level in relation to the ground. The interaction between the various spaces and the events and architectural projects which inhabit them, creates diversity in a simple, readable volume. The Azrieli school of architecture is a 60 meters high pin tower, that connects the campus to the city and creates a new, defined image. The limited volume it takes in the campus entrance square reflects and synthesizes the principles of modernism, minimalism and brutalism, the fine urban planning of Ramat Aviv A, the unique landscape planning of the campus, and the contemporary perception of reduced footprint and high rise building.