Renderings by: Studio Aiko
The Rubin Museum is a remnant of Old Tel-Aviv; of an époque before the city villas were replaced by apartment buildings and gardens were transformed to parking lots. Encased on all sides by much larger 1950 buildings, the Rubin Museum is set back from the street, perpetually in shadow. Restricted within its current dimensions, the museum lacks exhibition areas, a proper cafe & bookshop, as well as, administrative and archival facilities. These spatial shortcomings hinder the capacity of the museum to generate activities and threaten its economic & cultural viability. Approached by the Museum to expand its facilities, the aim of Asaf Gottesman and Gottesman Szmlecman Architecture was to facilitate expansion without sacrificing the particular charm and scale that epitomizes this unique museum. Rather than infringing upon the existing building, or adding additional floors, our choice was to excavate the garden and expand downwards. The new spaces would be decidedly contemporary; a clear distinction from the 1930’s building. The paved surface of the front garden would be replaced by a glass floor that would illuminate the 6 meter high gallery at level -1. Two massive Fikus Trees dominate the paved garden and in an effort to reach sunlight, they have risen far above the museum itself. The two Fikus trees would be retained and would float above the surface; their roots encased in the form of luminous pots. The 600m² created, would be internally connected to the existing building and will offer a distinct and enriching addition to the Rubin Museum.