Relocation of the Kiriya, the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces in Tel Aviv, is opening up a large tract of land for redevelopment. Seeking to "create sustainable coexistence between a super busy urban space and an intimate residential neighbourhood," Israeli firm Kimmel Eshkolot Architects has announced they have been selected as the winners of a master plan design competition for this landmark site.
The 20,000-square-metre property in central Tel Aviv will be separated into two unique programs, both designed to integrate the secluded site with the urban fabric of its surroundings. Known as the Kaplan North master plan, the west side will hold the contemplative Sarona garden, the main "urban room" of the complex designed to foster interaction and small gatherings. Kimmel Eshkolot intends the area to act as a hosting space for temporary pavilions and art exhibitions. Existing heritage protected buildings will be preserved while a water feature adds another natural element to the plan.
The eastern precinct houses a dense configuration of buildings appropriately scaled to its built-up environment. Instituting a "multi-layered vertical city" strategy, a series of clustered towers transition from neighbourhood amenities and public spaces on their lower sections to private residential, office, and hotel units above. The podium and tower balconies are accented by a rich array of foliage, providing strong contrast against the glassy building backdrop.
Kimmel Eshkolot has won several design competitions for high-profile locations in the past, including the government compound "Kiryat Hamemshala" in Jerusalem. Their work also extends to urban renewal projects, like the once-neglected historic neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek in Tel Aviv which has seen its fortunes turn around. The neighbourhood has evolved into an expensive and trendy district as a result of revitalization efforts involving the architecture firm. They are hoping to achieve something similar on this plot of land by erasing its uninviting boundaries and creating a reinvigorated sense of place.
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