Mayslits Kassif Architects have completed the regeneration of public spaces at Tel Aviv Port in Israel.
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."
Photographs by Albi Serfaty, Tamar Navon, and Galia Kronfeld.
Here's some more information from Mayslits Kassif Architects:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.