Herta & Paul Amir Building
Preston Scott Cohen

November 07, 2011 /

Tel Aviv, Israel

Photo: Amit Geron

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.

Photo: Amit Geron

Photo: Amit Geron

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 the structure.

Photo: Amit Geron

Photo: Amit Geron

Photo: Amit Geron

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.

Photo: Amit Geron

Photo: Amit Geron

Photo: Amit Geron

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.

/Preston Scott Cohen

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 capital.

Model photo courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.amir_building_11.jpg
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Site Plan
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Plan Level 00
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Plan Level 1
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Plan Level 2
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Plan Level 4
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Plan Roof
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Section Diagram
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Section AA
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Section BB
Drawing courtesy Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.Section CC

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.

Photo courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of ArtAnselm KieferWomen of Antiquity: White Books (2011)

Photo courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of ArtAnselm KieferAls Arche verließ es die Strasse so wächst Du gerecht ins Unheil (2006)

Facts about Herta & Paul Amir Building

Total area:

195,000 ft2

Design Architect:

Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.

Project Architect:

Amit Nemlich

General Contractor:

Hezkelevitch Engineering

Project Management:

CPM Construction Management Ltd.

Structural Engineers:

YSS Consulting Engineers Ltd.


Motti Omer
Director and Chief Curator

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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