The first museum for contemporary design in Israel and one of the existing few anywhere (perhaps 10 or 15 across the world) was designed by Ron Arad Architects. Born in Tel Aviv, Ron Arad graduated from the Jerusalem Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in 1973. The link with Boris Schatz was both irresistible and now complete.
The USA$18 million costs were funded totally by public money and the new museum was carefully located in Holon, a cultural town of 200,000 that is virtually a southern suburb of Tel Aviv. The Museum for Contemporary Design opened in March 2010.
weathered steel ribbons wrap around the two galleries
The architects say that their five sinuous bands of coloured weathered steel actually form a visual key that carries visitors into the building, through it and then out, instantly becoming a string that ties the whole building together. But all good architecture should do that, I would think.
The two simple rectangular galleries are indeed there, once people get through the ribbons. Visitors move through the open-sky Upper Gallery or down the winding staircase, from the lobby to the Lower Gallery. These 750 square meters spaces will showcase exhibitions developed by international design curators. The galleries will have both contemporary and historical pieces from a range of design disciplines, including industrial, fashion, textiles, jewellery.
The museum says it is committed to pioneering a creative arena for the exploration and examination of design principles and interpretations. So the architecture is more than simply exterior walls to house a collection and keep the weather out, exactly as you would expect from an organisation interested in design.
exhibition area: The State of Things
Will the external colours and shapes of the Contemporary Design Museum develop the same iconic status as the Guggenheim in New York and the Sydney Opera House? I hope so.