Dezeen featured this project recently, and I thought it worth an opportunity to investigate a little further. The Tel Aviv Port by Mayslits Kassif Architects. I was struck by the utter simplicity of form, as well as some of the interesting detailing of this highly trafficked open space, and some of the subtle ways of defining form. What first caught my eye is the was the undulating boardwalk – which aside from being visually interesting, makes for an interesting exercise to see how it was detailed.
:: images via Dezeen
The site plan shows a variety of these spaces… particularly reinforcing the design intent… Via Dezeen: “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.”
:: image via Dezeen
The overall form and detailing is interesting, and the breadth of space given to the public is laudable. There is, however, a certain barreness to the space that I can’t help thinking would benefit from at least some minimal planted areas. Perhaps this is the tradeoff due to heavy use and climate, or maybe a design gesture. While the wood would stay cool, and the umbrellas provide some shading, there seems little respite from elements – giving one a simple option of sun, or head elsewhere to the surrounding buildings.