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Lessin Tower and Complex, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Lessin Tower development is situated in the central heart of Tel Aviv within walking distance to the Mediterranean beaches and sea, the new tower belt district, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Hayarkon Park, west, east, south and north respectively. Located in a predominantly residential neighborhood, the tower development also encompasses within its vicinity the light restoration of Beit Lessin, a 3 storey mid-century structure, exemplifying the cultural ideals and architectural aesthetics of the time.

In terms of massing, the new tower volume can be seen as a quartet ensemble of the existing horizontal Beit Lessin mass, turned on its side and lifted upward for pedestrian circulation and greenery within the site. In terms of materiality and climate sensitivity, the airy and light appearance of the new form contrasts the solid and grounded existing condition nonetheless incorporating shading and brise soleil adaptations.

Programmatically, Beit Lessin consists of existing commercial spaces on the upper floors with retail and cafes on the ground level while the 98.3 meters, 27-storey Lessin Tower boosts 58 apartments from one to three per floor and a triplex penthouse.

Building amenities include underground car parking for the complex at large, easily accessible bicycle rooms at ground level in line with green city initiatives, a concierge lobby, a gym, spa and pool facilities. Beit Lessin’s retail and café strip together with Lessin’s tower gym, spa and pool activities play a prominent role in the performative quality of the building entrance zone. Along with ecological pool and waterfall features, a pocket garden, leisurely placed seating arrangements, casual soft lighting and a variety of vegetation and trees, the atmosphere that is created is of fresh dynamic tranquility within the city fabric. Cementing the tower’s stature within the city skyline, the crown triplex penthouse and technical facilities express an interplay of formal simplicity, structural lightness, and climatic sensibility.

A sun shade and wind break assemblage provide interim moments of solitude between program and level designations while giving way to refined framed urban views of the sea, skyline and park from an infinity pool and deck platform. The produced stage of habitation aspires to create a feeling of “cloud living” in part while providing a refined ornamental interlace for the city at large. Further extending a massing to detail conceptual cohesion, the tower infuses into its fold ceramic frit glass prisms with internal aluminum light reflectors at its outermost edges. Throughout the day and night, the multi-dimensional quality of the prisms plays with ever-changing sunlight and internal programmatic lighting conditions which in turn give way to an effect of anti-materiality or a tower defined by air.

With its didactic reinterpretation of local mid-century modernism and the overall flirtation between performative program, vegetation, materiality, and environmental sensibilities extending to an innovative dematerialization effect, the resulting tower and compound stand as a testimonial mark to the ongoing dialog of architecture today.

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