The conversion of a “bastard” modernist building does not deny its origins

A. Lerman Architects' design for a contemporary art gallery in Tel Aviv does not disguise the building's ordinariness, preserving the traces left by its course of use.

Mythological "white-city" of the Middle-Eastern Bauhaus, the city of Tel Aviv stands out for its fragmented urban fabric, which has grown rapidly under the pressure of the various waves of immigration and is characterized, especially in its southern districts, by spontaneous building linked to the international style, but not necessarily of high quality.

It is starting from a great familiarity with this context, and at the same time from the refusal of the embellishment induced by the growing gentrification, that the studio A. Lerman Architects came up with a radical proposal for the conversion of a printing house into a contemporary art gallery. In fact, nothing of the place's previous state is modified: the original space is not revised in its distribution, nor has changed its finishing, which even maintains the writing on the walls from its previous life.

Inside, only a concrete counter embossed with the writing "contemporary" reveals the new intervention in a permanent way, while on the outside new window frames are juxtaposed to the old one, marking the facade - also not re-plastered - with new and slightly wider black iron frames. Renouncing any ennobling, the new space pays tribute, in the words of the architects, to a "dirty 'bastard' or mongrel modernism, emerging not out of clear ideologies but out of the confusions and contradictions of urban life", an almost affective celebration of the building's ability to continue to perform its functions, pragmatically offering itself to changes in register and use.

Tel Aviv
A. Lerman Architechts
Art gallery
Lead Architecht:
Asaf Lerman

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