Herta & Paul Amir Building
Preston Scott Cohen
The campus of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is located in the heart of Tel Aviv, immediately adjacent to the Golda Meir Cultural & Art Center, with the New Israeli Opera and the Cameri Theater, and the Beit Ariela Municipal Library.
The freestanding concrete and glass building establishes a dialogue with the existing structures of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and with the renowned modern architecture of Tel Aviv, with its traditions of Mendelsohn, the Bauhaus and the White City.
On the inside, the Amir Building reveals that it is built around
a spiraling, top-lit 87-foot-high atrium, known as the Lightfall,
whose subtly twisting surfaces curve and veer up and down through
There are five levels to the building, two above grade and three
below, which twist from floor to floor to accommodate large,
rectangular galleries within the compact, irregular site.
The stairs and ramped promenades of the Lightfall serve as the surprising, continually unfolding vertical circulation through these floors, connecting the disparate angles of the galleries and allowing natural light to refract into the deepest recesses of the half-buried building.
/Preston Scott Cohen
The Museum's program set the challenge of providing several floors of large, neutral, rectangular galleries within a tight, idiosyncratic, triangular site. The solution we proposed was to "square the triangle" by constructing the levels on different axes, which deviate significantly from floor to floor and are unified by the Lightfall.
This decision enabled us to combine two seemingly irreconcilable paradigms of the contemporary art museum: the museum of neutral white boxes, which provides optimal, flexible space for the exhibition of art, and the museum of spectacle, which moves visitors and offers a remarkable social experience. In this way, the Amir Building's synthesis of radical and conventional geometries produces a new type of museum experience, one that is as rooted in the Baroque as it is in the Modern.
The Amir Building doubles the exhibition space of the Tel Aviv
Museum of Art and adds an unprecedented work of contemporary
architecture to the campus of the Museum, Israel's principal
institution of modern and contemporary art, and provides a new
international landmark at the center of Israel's cultural
To inaugurate its new temporary exhibitions gallery in the Amir
Building, the Museum presents a site-specific exhibition of new and
recent works by Anselm Kiefer. Drawn predominantly from the
artist's own collection, the exhibition presents an extraordinary
selection of Kiefer's monumental paintings, sculptures, woodcuts
and installations on themes of Jewish history and mysticism.
Facts about Herta & Paul Amir Building
CPM Construction Management Ltd.
YSS Consulting Engineers Ltd.
Director and Chief Curator
Last updated: December 19, 2013
Pasadena, California, USA