NEW NATIONAL LIBRARY OF ISRAEL - 2012
Competition - Udi Mendelson with Eli Keller and Sagi Hatam / Renderings: Sagi Hatam, Ehud Nadel and David Gruss
The space between the concealed and that yet to be created.
The proposed design of the New National Library does not narrow itself to the bookshelves, reading tables, research facilities and advanced preservation methods. Rather, it takes on itself to give public access, to the cultural and creative aspect, concealed in the Jewish and Israeli bookcase, through a new architectural and urban experience.
The planning of the new building is composed of three main wings: the library wing and its reading, research and learning halls; the exhibition and gallery wing; and the auditorium, lecture halls and restaurant. The role of the National Library is to house the knowledge and cultural treasures of the generations of the Jewish people. We propose in this project to invite the public, in all its diversities to meet with all these treasures, not only in a direct and functional manner, but through a rich experience of cultural creation and leisure.
This challenge resides, according to our concept in the distance and tension between the precious concealed creation – which should be kept as if it were the holy stone plates in a well hidden Ark, and the piece yet to be written. After all, the effort of preservation, documentation and organization of these cultural knowledge treasures does not sum in the sanctification of the past but also with building the option for the continuity of human creation.
The interpretation we have given to this question is that the distance and tension can find their place and expression in the public space at its best – the ethical and hospitable space. The garden, in Jewish, but also in Islamic and Christian culture, is the place which holds the space of possibility, the invitation for a passage between the everyday dimension to the hidden and concealed place; the movement, from the world of knowledge to the essence of creation. The interpretation of the garden in the urban space finds itself in the court yard and the main square.
The central square of the project is open to the urban Rupin Blvd. It is an urban square that invites every interpretation or random event, and functions as a central stage as well. The three main contents of the library complex find themselves in the built space: the exhibition galleries, the reading halls, and the culture center, all reside around the square as bleachers in a new urban theater. The main reading hall becomes sort of an inner room of the garden, and the reading spaces are designed as if continuing the local terraces.
The auditorium, rare book collection and music hall, are all located in floating boxes in the central space of each wing. These boxes are seen through the "ark curtain" of glass that on one hand reveals the sides of the ark, and on the other, with the help of different transparencies, filters the sun and the human gaze.
Balconies of hanging gardens, inner courts and exhibition spaces invite the public into a natural and unique stroll through the wings of the building; starting in the public space, through the inner garden and into the inner space of the secret keeping arks, that are holding, that which should be concealed.
TEL AVIV MUSEUM EXTENSION - 2004
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Competition - Collabortaion with Prof. Ze'ev Druckman, Giora Boss, Uriel Babczyk, Ilan Levi, Shira Pinkas, Rubi Talpus
The Tel Aviv Museum is located at a critical edge point in the city. It is the meeting ground of two Architectural exteremeties: from the west it faces the old fabric of the city streching to the sea through a series of public gardens and spaces. From the east it reaches the borders of the city - the business center and the main traffic arteries. The site itself lays on the only link between these two borders - the Dubnov garden.
The exisiting museum, is an elaborate and impressive architectural icon but it ignores this meeting point. The propsal aims not only to present the garden as the museum's stage but also show the fact the art, is a public domain and therefore the building itself not only encircles the art but hovers over it aswell.
The Dubnov garden symbolizing the public essence of Tel Aviv flows into the existing statue garden and with that brings this gardens together. This connection of gardens acts as the generator for the entire new ing and defines its design.
The sequence of ramps, dominating the building, creates an experience of a promenade that exists between garden and art. It takes the visitor from one edge, on street level, through galleries and gardens, to another edge, high above the city, facing its skyline
VIRUS ARCHITECTURE / CONCEPTUAL COMPETITION - 2003
THE SHINKENCHIKU RESIDENTAL DESIGN COMPETITION, TOKYO, JAPAN
Competition - Collabortaion with Omer Barr
“The Accident Reveals the Substance” - Aristotle
Any creative process, while giving form to a newly realized idea, at the same time already contains the seeds of its own destruction. Once an original creation is realized, it carries the potential of being duplicated. Duplication in its essence is a formal process, thus draining the original from its substance. Such a phenomenon expedites the chances of a downfall. In a similar manner to the natural genetic evolution of the DNA, the act of duplication is a form of survival which exists in the evolution of a culture. This duplication creates a proliferation which invites a virus. The virus uses an existing duplication system in order to duplicate itself. It doesn’t have any substance of its own, but is an empty form which has only one aim - to multiply itself in order to take control, and thus to survive. The survival of the virus means the destruction of its original surroundings.
The Modernist concept of housing for the masses has brought about a proliferation of forms, which originated from a meme, tracing back to the then newly realized technological and cultural aspects of mass production. This phenomenon has created an architecture which is ignorant to its surroundings and lacks any sense of individuality. The multiplication of these forms, regardless of cultural identity or place, has resulted in a bleak landscape of indistinct structures - having no notion of place or context. This duplicating mechanism provides an ideal breeding ground for the virus affect to come into being. Having been a result of the original creation, it inherits the empty form of its carrier, and is arbitrarily multiplied. The coexistence of a planned multiplying system and that of an arbitrary one results in a clash which produces an omission of the original form by its own replica.
The empty spaces which have been revealed as a result of this omission expose an aspect of the place which could not have existed while being imprisoned in its own duplicated environment. This void is a potential for the birth of a new experience of the space, thus leading the way for an emergence of an identity and a sense of place.
SUKKAH CITY NYC / "meZUZah" / CONCEPTUAL COMPETION - 2009
REINVENTING THE JEWISH SUKKAH / SUKKAH CITY / NEW YORK, NY, USA
Competition - Collabortaion with Eli Keller, Tomer Rabinowitz, Eitan Rubinstein, Sagi Hatam
The Sukkah is an educational structure, designed to teach those who dwell within the house to renew the movement between interior and exterior , between one's self and the other. It rebuilds the consciousness of being in motion. Once a year, we are re-invited to exile from our internal fort to the exterior.
The Mezuzah constitutes a sign on the doorpost, designated to sanctify the possibility of eternal movement between inside and out. It exalts the possible movement of the other inside and out in a state of freedom. The text embedded in the doorpost replaces the sacrificial blood that marked the Israelites homes in Egypt. The Sukkah building recreates simultaneously a collective and private exodus. It transforms text and language that are permanent in the house doorpost into a physical, mental and educational temporary space.
We have chosen to use the doorpost and the ethical movement commanded to exist within it, signified by the Mezuzah as an inspiration to discover what a Sukkah is in present times. We do not live in the desert but we must question our dwelling borders. We believe that the sukkah structure must create a space of passage and hospitality. The Sukkah is the open gap in between the space of the gate of the house and its wall.
Just as the Jewish man is commanded to tie and wrap himself in text each morning with the strings of the T'filin , opening himself to the moral and ethical world, so did we chose linen strings as a similar ceremonial technique in order to tie the doorpost space, thus opening it into a Sukkah.
YAD LA'BANIM MEMORIAL CENTER - 2012
RAMAT ISHAY, ISRAEL
Competition - Udi Mendelson and Ido Peleg, in collaboration with Tomer Rabinowitz, Nir Sharabi and Shimon Mayer
NEW SYNAGOGUE "MEIR" OF RISHPON - 2019
Competition - Udi Mendelson with Ori Carmel and Yosef Or Bochan
The design of the new synagogue structure refers to the scale of the existing building and its surroundings. In the architectural design of the central prayer space, much thought was given to the creation of a spirit uplifting, one that evokes a sense and atmosphere of spirituality, through the use of natural light entrances in a variety of configurations, indirectly and delicately and in dismantling the front wall.
The design of the openings is intended to connect with the garden outside the building and allow for the extension of the prayer space outside the enclosed space on special occasions (Yom Kippur, Purim and more).
The planning takes into account the needs of the community and worshipers on weekdays, Saturdays, and special events. The proposal includes increasing the number of ground floor seats for the men, adding women's help as a kind of peripheral gallery view in the central space to participate in the design of the main space. The women's help can also be used by prayers for men and children when needed.