Client Tel Aviv University
Location Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv’s White City, a World Cultural Heritage site, is a collection of over 4,000 early 20th century buildings which represent significant trends of the Modern Movement in architecture.
Our concept for the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Centre for Tel Aviv University was realised as a sculptural form carved from a piece of masonry. A cubic block is notionally extracted from the White City and embedded into the university campus. This expressive mass is sculpted, responding to its context, climate and internal function. On the exterior, the surface is rough like freshly hewn rock. Where the form is cut, a smooth polished inner ‘flesh’ is revealed.
Bold curved slices create an entrance, chimney and roof garden; these forms respond to the curved plan geometries common in the White City. Smaller scale carvings admit light and air, and create framed views. Deep reveals shade the interior, protecting it from harsh summer sun. This façade geometry is inspired by a Holliday Junction parallelogram: a structure commonly referenced in DNA nanotechnology.
The public spaces of the building are organised along an internal journey up through the building. The design of the interiors is driven by principles including creating spacial fluidity between inside and out; connecting exterior and interior visual languages; clear orientation and wayfinding; and encouraging collaboration and improving wellbeing.
This is achieved with design features such as pockets of space along circulation routes, vertical circulation placed within the atrium, providing daylight and views to workspaces, and carrying through the same parallelogram pattern from the façade on the reception desk.