Guest Contribution by Udit Lorraine Belkine
Ron Arad is considered the best known Israeli designer ever. Although he lives in Great Britain since the 1980s and conquered the world many many years ago, we Israelis still consider him as if he was one of ours. “I am not a football player and therefore I don’t represent anybody” Ron Arad told me in an interview a few months ago. “I am Israeli because I was born in Israel and because I speak Hebrew and because I am still connected to the country but that doesn’t make me an Israeli designer or a British one. But when I happen to hear the Beatles with Penny Lane on the radio I think about my childhood in Tel Aviv and not about Liverpool”.
At the end of the month, a distinguished group of VIPs from the fields of design and architecture will visit Israel in order to honor Ron Arad and the new iconic Design Museum building he designed in Holon, just few minutes driving from Tel Aviv. Among them will be the great lighting designer Ingo Maurer, Moroso’s Art director Patrizia Moroso, renowned artist and designer Havier Mariscal, architecture critic Deyan Sudjic and others. The honorable group will enjoy a gala evening and a seminar concerning the new museum’s most interesting building. The museum will be opened to the public with its first exhibition by the end of March 2010.
When discussing the Design Museum in Holon Arad told me that “the brief for the project was to design a building to be perpetuated on a national postage stamp. Apparently every city wants to be Bilbao with a museum like Frank Gerry’s but that building’s display areas suffer too much from the iconic form of the building itself. The Design Museum in Holon is composed of two rectangles that serve as exhibition halls with an intersection point that gathers all the public and service areas”.
The highly anticipated creation by Ron Arad Architects has been four years in construction. The building's sinuous ribbon facade of Corten weathering steel forms a blend of textural, spatial and optical experiences that seamlessly meld the principles of sculpture, architecture, design and art for the enjoyment of the public. A dialogue with visitors is fostered as they meander through the open-sky Upper Gallery or down the winding staircase from the lobby to the Lower Gallery. These will feature both contemporary and historical exhibits from diverse design disciplines, including industrial, fashion, textiles and jewelry. More than just a box to house a collection, this fascinating structure encompasses juxtaposing gallery spaces, a design lab and an archival collection. These 750 square meters spaces will showcase exhibitions developed by international design curators.
Client: Holon Municipality
Location: Holon, Israel
Size: Gross Area 4100m², Net 3200m²
2004 - 2010
Team: Ron Arad (Principal Designer), Asa Bruno (Project Architect), James Foster.
Client Representative: Hannah Hertzman (General Director, Holon Municipality)
Project Director (Client): Jacob Eben (General Director Holon Municipality Development Corporation Ltd.)
Executive Arch. (Israel): Sharon Ben-Shem, Waxman-Govrin Eng. Ltd (WG)
Project Management (Israel): Waxman Govrin Eng. Ltd.
Structural Engineer: Uri Harmel (Harmel Engineering Ltd.)
Lighting Designer: Noa Lev and Ran Troim (RTLD)
Landscape Architects: TeMA Landscape Arch. Tel Aviv