Foto Friday – Design Museum Holon
Holon , the city on the dunes, has traditionally been a sleepy satellite and antithesis of Tel Aviv. So much so, in fact, that Holon’s first mayor, Dr. Haim Kugel, envisioned it as a place where the working man would drink a cup of tea on his balcony before retiring to bed at 9:30. No discos, night clubs or decadent “City That Never Stops” frippery for Kugel’s Holon.
Oh well, Haim, times change. Over the years, Holon has positioned itself as Israel’s center for niche museums, providing a home not only to the Egged Bus Museum and Israel Children’s Museum but also to the Mediatheque, a cultural centre that includes the National Cartoon Museum, repertory theater, cinematheque, a unique materials library and public library and the Israel Design Center.
And next week, on January 31st 2010, the Design Center inaugurates its new award-winning building by Ron Arad Architects, thus thwarting Kugel’s dream forever.
Design Museum Holon does fulfill the dream of its founders, Holon’s Mayor, Motti Sasson and Managing Director, Hana Hertsman who term it “the pinnacle of a sixteen-year urban regeneration programme, a process which is transforming the city of Holon, central Israel, into a global epicenter for culture and education.” A series of videos about their vision is available here.
That vision is more than matched by the building, a sexy ribbon of weathered steel, graduated in tone, that winds its way around a large central plaze, flanked by the Mediatheque.
The founders wanted Arad to create an iconic building that would provide visitors with an immersive design environment, and the Design Museum is Arad’s first architectural project of this scale. As he explains it, “Holon is a city which is re-inventing itself culturally, with ambitious plans that are investing a lot into culture. The concept of this museum in the Middle Eastern sun is just one instance.”
“Every project is unique; each one invites a different response. When we started working on Design Museum Holon, it was like a white canvas, things developed and a direction was formed. We created a hierarchy of outdoor spaces so you walk in under the building into a semi-covered yard, where you have a choice to take the air-conditioned route or one exposed to the elements. The building envelope is not just a pretty space; it’s also a structure.”
An interview with Arad about the museum can be found here:
The Design Museum’s annual program will showcase site-specific exhibitions by invited international curators as well as travelling exhibitions. A historical collection of Israeli design is also being created and the museum’s permanent collection will be unveiled in five to seven years. The first exhibition opens on March 4th 2010. More details on www.dmh.org.il. Photos courtesy of Design Museum Holon’s Facebook page – become a fan today!