Ron Arad Architects, London
Tel Aviv, widely recognized as the largest tech hub outside of Silicon Valley, is in the grip of unprecedented urban and infrastructural development. Bound by neighboring towns and the Mediterranean on the west, it can only grow upwards. Despite having only 500,000 inhabitants, it is home to the R&D facilities of giants such as Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Google. Any significant office development catering to such firms must adeptly meet the challenges of vehicular congestion perpetuated by a large commuter population and make extensive use of the technological advances affecting working environments, from adaptability and connectivity to comfort and amenities. Most importantly, it must lead the way in reducing the environmental impact that large developments bring during construction, and throughout their lifetime. It must also engage in place-making and ensure viable returns to the city’s population, and the public realm it occupies.
The presentation features the ToHA project, occupying a rarely-available 1.8-hectare central site, its two office towers (28 and 70 stories) with an overall area of 185,800 square meters, situated within generous landscaped public space. The completed and LEED Platinum-certified 28-story, 55,742 square-meter first tower, fuses traditional, regional passive environmental approaches with state-of-the-art energy-saving and intelligent façade systems, and is the result of extensive research and development from inception to completion. The sculptural tower is articulated to maximize solar shading, facilitate natural daylight across every generous floor plate, and employs a radical MEP strategy, which reduces volumetric and visual impact on the ground, providing expansive circulation opportunities for the public. The presentation concludes with a vision for the 70-story second phase of ToHA, outlining its likely goals for decades to come.