Zvi Mosessco

Zvi Mosessco

Herzliya, IL


Cultural Center in Southern Israel

The complex comprises of a multi-purpose 400 seats auditorium, a regional library with 7,000 books and several computer stations, a memorial area, a large patio and a heritage garden.

The complex is part of the main center of the campus designed completely by Z. Mosessco Architect & Townplanner Ltd.
The building footprint defines the south western arched wall of the main square of the center. The square evolving in a crossroads between the main entrance axis to the camp and the perpendicular pedestrian street which connects the civic buildings of the campus (dining rooms, clubs, sport hall and facilities, synagogue, clinic etc.).
The main entrance to the complex is from the square while the service entrance is from the service road passing from the west to the center.

Design Principles:

The contour lines of the structure are derived from the building footprint created from the arched forum defining the wall of the main square. In this wall a gate is opened leading to the inner yard from which the patio and lobby are evolving, thus connecting all parts of the building.

This unique complex grows up from its environment and the special urban tissue while blending with it.
The three dimensional composition uses articulative expression of each of its parts – the library, the hall & the stage area with its stage tower, The integrated patio while the main lobby serves as a connective link between the various parts of the building.

The building evolves from the sandy ground characteristic to the area where the complex is instilled.
The library, lobby, administration and actors rooms are located on the tranquil western side facing the far landscape of the stream flora, while the hall and patio (heritage garden) with the opaque side face the main square – where the public activities occur –creating a side panel to the square.
A service entrance to the stage and store room is located in proximity to the actors rooms and adjacent to the western access road.

The entrance to the building is carried out in a way that exposes the building gradually to the visitor's eye. Starting from the main square, then through an opening in the arched wall lining the square, an opening between two columns leading to the public oasis yard and form there directing the visitor to either the hall, the library or the heritage garden.
This form of direction creates a certain sense of story and surprise while gradually separating the visitor from the grains of sand stuck to its shoes.
The Multi-purpose auditorium is spread in horseshoe shape focusing on the stage while guaranteeing optimal visibility & acoustics.
The inner envelope of the hall is built of vertical peels growing as you go further from the stage. The "legs" of the peel are wood coated while the ceiling head is made of gypsum panels, between the peels concealed illumination fixtures are uttering their light.
The peels are built in a way that reflects the sound on the front side of the hall and engulfs it in the stern.
The library is illuminated from the north western windows facing the far landscape of the stream and its flora and from the opposite windows facing the near landscape of the heritage garden.
The heritage garden sealed almost on all sides connects to the library on one hand and the entrance patio on the other hand, containing a garden designed as a dry garden which incorporates some local vegetation. The walls of the heritage garden will include bronze plaques which will document the heritage of the place.

Morphology and Design :

a. The morphology was inspired in its basic form from the nature surrounding the place – round shapes which partially flow amorphism of hills, rocks and "columns".
b. The three dimensional composition uses articulative expression of each of the parts of the building in it's unique form – the multi-purpose hall whose shape evolves, as mentioned, from the classic horse shoe shape (which ensures optimal acoustics and vision) along with the external expression of the curved hall section in its tall part creating a shaded intrusive area which pulls wind, and also used as an external chatting area.
A high stage tower with narrowing upward section, which populates in it's lower portion the side stages and actors rooms and in it's upper portion- which requires a smaller area- the stage facilities, the conical tower express in it’s exterior the focal point of the hall, penetrating and creating the tension of the composition. The third component is the horizontal element of the complementary functions – lobby, library etc. – a component which seams the complex all

together horizontally, balancing and completing the entire composition thus enabling clear reading of the contents from the outside.
c. The external finish is a mixture of sandstone (in horizontal layers) and natural special sand plaster, growing out from the sandy ground- which is characteristic of the southern coastal plain and western Negev area.
This finish was fixed as the design thread going throughout all the center of the campus buildings connecting them together.

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Status: Built
Additional Credits: Z. Mosessco Architect & Townplanner Ltd.