photo © Galia Kronfeld

photo © Galia Kronfeld

Project Name: Tel Aviv Port Public Space Regeneration
Location:
Tel Aviv, Israel
Program:
Design and Strategy for Tel Aviv Port's public spaces
Architects: Mayslits Kassif Architects

Client:
Marine Trust Ltd., Port Architect: Eliakim Architects.
Collaborators:

Project Management:
Avinoam Horowitz
Graphic Designer:
Hila Ben Navat
Construction Company:
Green Sky.ltd
Date of project: 2003-2008
Status: Complete - 2008

photo © Daniela Orvin

photo © Daniela Orvin

Awards:

  • 2003- First Prize in the Public Competition for the Renewal of the port's public areas. Proposal by Mayslits Kassif Architects in collaboration with architect Galila Yavin.
  • 2007- Israeli Design Award for the best Urban Architectural Project in Israel. 
  • 2008-Rechter Award for an outstanding architectural achievement by the Israeli Ministry of Culture.
  • 2010- Winner of The Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize and the Audience Choice award in The 6th European Biennial of Landscape Architecture.

Budget: 4,000,000 E
Site Area: 55,000 m2
Design Team: Ganit Mayslits Kassif, Udi Kassif, Oren Ben Avraham, Galila Yavin, Michal Ilan and Maor Roytman.

Image Courtesy of Mayslits Kassif Architects

Image Courtesy of Mayslits Kassif Architects

Situated on one of Israel's most breathtaking waterfronts, the Tel Aviv Port was plagued with neglect since 1965, when its primary use as an operational docking port was abandoned. The public space development project by Mayslits Kassif Architects, managed to restore this unique part of the city, and turn it into a prominent, vivacious urban landmark.

photo © Iwan Baan

photo © Iwan Baan

The architects viewed the project as a unique opportunity to construct a public space which challenges the common contrast between private and public development, and suggests a new agenda of hospitality for collective open spaces. The design, a winner of an open competition held in 2003 (entry submitted by Mayslits Kassif Architects in collaboration with Galila Yavin) was quickly brought to life by a new management, with locals and visitors flocking to the revamped port even before the project was completed.

photo © Iwan Baan

photo © Iwan Baan

Remarkably, despite city planning being dominated by market forces, and because of its immense popularity among the public, the project has been able to circumvent massive development schemes intended for the port's 5 hectares area. The suspension of all the area's rezoning plans set a precedent for creating an urban transformation not propelled by building rights, but rather by a unique design strategy, which renovates the existing hangars and invests in the public space regeneration.

photo © Adi Branda

photo © Adi Branda

photo © Adi Branda

photo © Adi Branda

The design introduces an extensive undulating, non-hierarchical surface, that acts both as a reflection of the mythological dunes on which the port was built, and as an open invitation to free interpretations and unstructured activities. Various public and social initiatives – from spontaneous rallies to artistic endeavors and public acts of solidarity – are now drawn to this unique urban platform, indicating the project's success in reinventing the port as a vibrant public sphere.

photo © Tamar Navon

photo © Tamar Navon

Nowadays when approximately 2.5 million people visit the Tel Aviv Port every year – a record number for a metropolitan area spanning 1 million residents, in a country of 7 million - the port's public spaces renewal is considered one of the most influential project of its kind in Tel Aviv. Alongside receiving international recognition and several prestigious architectural awards, such as the Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize for 2010, it receives great affection from the public and is ranked as the most beloved recreation space by the inhabitants of Tel Aviv's metropolitan area. Being a new urban landmark which revives the city's waterfront, the project became a trigger for a series of public space projects along Tel Aviv’s shoreline which altogether revolutionize the city's connection to its waterfront.

photo © Daniela Orvin

photo © Daniela Orvin

And the winner of the Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize 2010 is...

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