Client: Tel Aviv municipality with Ahuzot Hachof Ltd.
Cost: 18 Million NIS
Year of Completion: 2010
Artist: Dani Karavan
In the past year the Tel-Aviv municipality has advanced a great number of construction projects geared towards the celebration of the city's 100th birthday. Of these projects, the renovation of the Tel-Aviv's Cultural Center is of great significance, as it includes the Mann Auditorium and Gan Ya’acov, the Habima Theater, and a new plaza designed by the sculptor Dani Karavan. Beneath the plaza will lay an underground parking garage capable of containing some 1000 cars.
The idea to design the square as an urban sculptural garden was underlined by an artistic impetus. Planned together with the artist Dani Karavan, the square pays homage to the history of Tel Aviv by incorporating landscape and vegetation endemic to the area before the city’s major developmental thrust. In order to overcome the high
rises on the square’s eastern side, a series of gates were erected to connect the entrance and exit lobbies from the garage to the square. Creating a holistic form,
these gates will be covered in summer by a sheet of cloth that will provide shade for passersby. A row of cypress trees has been planted between the gates and the garage entrance ramps, both separating the square from the bustle of HubermanStreet and commemorating the cypresses that once grew in the area but have since been uprooted. A grand sycamore tree, planted on a hill in the southeastern corner, provides a shaded high ground from which to view the square.For those arriving from Rothschild Avenue, the square appears in all its splendor. Emerging gradually into sight, the square’s different segments finally reveal a large mosaic that embodies simple forms of sand colors. A large and sunken rectangular area has been built in the square’s center and along its length. In the center of the rectangle, a small garden will be organized geometrically: in the southern part a “sand garden” made of dune plants; in the center an almond orchard; and in the northern segment a colorful composition of flowers. A reflection pool continues the geometry of the garden, while three stages have been placed in the square’s center, allowing for small gatherings, street performances, small concerts, and dancing.