Tel Aviv Port by Mayslits Kassif Architects

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Mayslits Kassif Architects have completed the regeneration of public spaces at Tel Aviv Port in Israel.

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The architects hope the undulating surface will act "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."

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Photographs by Albi Serfaty, Tamar Navon, and Galia Kronfeld.

Here's some more information from Mayslits Kassif Architects:

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Tel Aviv Port / Public Space Regeneration Project by 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 recently completed 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.

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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.

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In 2007 alone, 2.5 million people visited the Tel Aviv Port – a record number for a metropolitan area spanning 1 million residents, in a country of 7 million.

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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 by an alternative design strategy gearing towards the public space.

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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, political 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.

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Mayslits Kassif Architects was founded in Tel Aviv in 1994, by Ganit Mayslits Kassif and Udi Kassif. Since its inception the practice has been involved in a variety of projects in the fields of urban planning, public buildings, housing and retail, with a particular focus on the combination between landscape and urbanism.

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Since 1997 Mayslits Kassif Architects has won several prestigious public competitions, such as the Remez-Arlozorov Cultural Center in Tel Aviv, the regeneration of the Ashdod City Center and the redevelopment of the Tel Aviv Port public spaces.
Mayslits Kassif Architects' design for the Tel Aviv Port development project won the firm the prestigious 2007 Israeli Design Award for the best Urban Architectural Project in Israel – the highest honor of its kind.

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  • http://michalwojtkiewicz.com michal wojtkiewicz

    Nice one, and what’s more important as i’ve heard from my friend that visited the place – it works!

  • Bruno

    It could extend to design some sun protection, and giving up from these unnecessary umbrelas.

  • http://vroomfondel.com zzanzii

    this makes super duper skating/biking/running/rolling.yeah !

  • Jer

    heavy wood maintenance in those intense sun and water exposure circumstances. i bet operating and maintenance costs will exceed construction costs significantly…

  • sc hu yl er

    Reminds me of a project Kevin Kennon did called downtown pines. Very nice stuff…

  • Danny

    wow jer (aka the robot), and i thought promenades and piers had been built of wood for centuries! i’m sure a hardwood would weather gracefully. also i like the organic form of the lamps

  • Anders

    The Skateboarders will have a field day!! I can just imagine linking up pops and grinds all over that surface!!

  • yimyim

    its a shame that everything looks “stuck on” to the lovely undulating timber plane as floo . Perhaps the undulating timber could have waved into elements of public use, seating and the such?
    nice though! yay!

  • kier

    chillout… people react with it in a positive way and it looks good, surely thats all that matters!

  • Kim

    By the color of the wood, it seems like maintenance would not be an issue, because teak wood is perfect for marine condition.
    It is really nice to see a project about public space in Dezeen.

    Somehow the last decade has seen fewer and fewer public space as major project…
    In a time of global recession, manufactured fears (terrorism, paranoia, greenies fear propaganda…), and blurring between public/private sphere, it’s refreshing to see that people can still gather in park and just live in peace.

  • kolohe

    so that’s where the world’s ipe wood supply went…

  • steve-o

    Lovely idea, which I imagine will make for a fantastic and functional public space.

    Not so worried about the durability – after all timber is hardly a new material for flooring in a coastal environment (piers, boardwalks etc) – but I’m curious to know how slippery those slopes get in the wet, especially once they’ve had a few season to mature…

  • poster

    mm a bit of yokohamism in here….

  • Mariusz

    I don’t agree with you Bruno,
    It’s a sign of real matural aproach that regular things fit the design.
    using umbrelas is fantastic and completes whole design.
    a Masterpiece!!!

  • Michael

    not far from this project palestinians are suffering in the dirt and will never be allowed to set a foot on this super-shaped-landscape… I just can’t help thinking about them when I see these images

  • Brett

    Michael, I can’t help thinking about why the Palestinians are not allowed to set foot on the Tel Aviv port: It would be a prime target for suicide bombers with the number Israeli families who go there on their weekends and Israeli youths who go to its clubs in the evenings.

    Say what you want about the security fence, but the number of suicide bombings in Israel have gone down by over 50% since it has been built – an easy decision for any government to make.

  • Frederick

    FOA should sue..

  • Nicola

    Tranquill atmosphere but it lacks green and shade. I think some nice trees would be welcome in a place as hot as tel – aviv. Are the stone seats made of plastic? They look unnatural anyway… :(
    Does anybody know if it gets sleeky when it rains?

  • http://www.memoarq.com hervé

    this doe’snt look like a normal simple deck construction-
    what I realy wonder is about the ondulation of the material itself: does know somebody what kind of wood is it? It looks like they took each wood element one by one in the ondulating areas giving a special form to get these really subtil ondulation..? What a work!
    If you watch a deck like the one in Yokohama, you will see that all wooden peaces are straight, result is much less smooth..
    Somebody has some information about theconstruction of the deck ?

  • dalstonrosi

    This really reminds me of the ferry terminal in Yokohama by FOA. Maybe a case of taking a reference too literal?

  • paul

    the sitting-stones are real stones, but of course prepared :-)
    and yes the wodden floor it is getting a bit slicky if it is wet but still it is ok.
    the annoying thing about this area is that it seems to be a typical fancy yuppie-area

  • Albi

    This is so cool, I want to be there!!!

  • james

    this is a great preject. i just wish i had some rollerskates.

  • http://www.mateussz.blogspot.com mateussz

    cool!
    Very nice!

  • lior brosh

    I went to see that place 2 month ago and it is absolutely fabulous.
    Not only by its magnificent design but at the way it brings everybody together.
    They also have radio station at the middle of the space made of glass construction (I know not very sustainable – specially at this hot weather) however you can listen live to the radio and see celebrities / rock bands being interviewed while your kids running about.

  • Yokahama 1;1 copy

    It is a nice project but just a 1;1 Yokahama copy !

  • salma

    as if its their own land they r building on!!