Five undulating horizontal ribbons of weathered steel—in bright orange, deep red, and rust brown—wrap the Design Museum Holon, Israel’s first museum of design. London-based Ron Arad Architects chose Cor-Ten steel for its integrity, as a material that is “not coated or masked,” explains Asa Bruno, the firm’s co-director.
The $17 million, 38,000-square-foot building is set on a gentle slope and is part of a large cultural complex in Holon, 4 miles south of Tel Aviv. After nearly four years of construction, the two-story building opens February 2. It will display Israeli and international creations, including fashion, furniture, technology, and architecture.
The project’s greatest challenge was satisfying the desire of the client, Holon Municipality, for an iconic museum, while not overshadowing the exhibits, Bruno says. In contrast to the sculptural skin, the building’s interior features two rectangular main galleries—one about 5,400 square feet and the other about 2,100 square feet. These volumes are set at an angle to each other, forming a triangular courtyard between them. The museum also includes an education area, design archive, and café.
The local architect is Sharon Ben-Shem of Waxman Govrin Engineering Ltd. In May 2009, the museum received the Condé Nast Traveller Innovation and Design Award for Culture.