Peres Peace House by Fuksas
The Peres Centre for Peace sets a sign of hope during troubled times.
All images, plans and information courtesy of Fuksas; see detailed credits at the end of this article; photographer: Moreno Maggi
PERES PEACE HOUSE
Established over ten years ago to foster a peaceful coexistence of Palestinian and Jewish population the organization found its new home designed by Massimiliano und Doriana Fuksas in Jaffa a district of Tel Aviv.
Named after its founder Shimon Peres the centre bears the name of the former Secretary of State who attended the opening of the new building marking the 10th anniversary of the organization. In 1994 Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat won the Noble Peace Price for the peace talks which led to the Oslo Accords.
The site is located in Jaffa a formerly independent city with long Arab history that became a district of Tel Aviv in 1950. With a significant Arab population and a Muslim cemetery in close proximity the building becomes a meeting point for ethnic groups in their own neighbourhood on a plot at the Mediterranean Sea.
Three of the four facades of the simple rectangular building are dominated by horizontal precast concrete elements and narrow glass strips. The greenish pigmented concrete beams are fixed to circular concrete columns – the primary structure of the building.
While the external façade is relatively calm and smooth with glass and concrete in one plain the character of the same assembly changes drastically on the inside.
Here the concrete beams appear skewed protruding in varying depth into the internal space.
The glass strips between the beams let the building glow mystically at night providing the structure with a spiritual appearance.
On the inside the view wanders up the external walls following layers of light leading to the the skylight and symbolic enlightenment.
Along the façade a straight stair connects the lobby with a 200 seat auditory built as a box in box that protrudes beyond the external perimeter of the building facing the sea.
The other rooms on the upper floors are simply accessed through a central concrete core.
The following text is by the architects:
PERES PEACE HOUSE, JAFFA – ISRAEL
LOCATION : JAFFA, ISRAEL
PROGRAM : AUDITORIUM, OFFICES, LIBRARY, BAR , RECEPTION, TERRACE
CLIENT: PERES CENTRE FOR PEACE ( ISRAEL)
PROJECT : MASSIMILIANO & DORIANA Fuksas
SITE AREA 7000MQ
A home port for all sailors and a haven for the shipwrecked. To imagine a place that is not virtual, but real. To be dedicated to Peace, is an immensely taxing undertaking of profound ethical significance.
Peace is a spiritual condition, an aspiration: tension and utopia.
The projection of will into the future is also an expression of hope that our children and future generation will live in a better world. Peace cannot be enclosed in wrapping: it’s, rather, a sensation of fullness and serenity that can be communicated through a place, or through architecture.
I have thought of a series of layers, a building that represents TIME and PATIENCE in strata of alternating
Materials representing places that have suffered heavily. Concrete composed of alternating and superimposed types of sand and aggregate. A stone basement to raise the building, a meeting place from which two long staircase lead to a place of “rest”, whose size and height, full of light from above, helps us to forget the troubles of the world, and fill us with the positive attitude that is needed for our meeting with other men and other women.
The outside of the building has alternate layers of concrete and translucent glass. The transparency of the glass will filter the light through to the inside during the day, and by night will send it back outside, entrusting this magical image with the spiritual and concrete message the site will inspire.
Architecture today must set itself as an aid, a hand to help us cope with the difficulties of understanding. This
Project represents the venue of an encounter, a debate, reasoning and solutions. The Peres Centre for Peace is a parallelepiped. Obtained by irregularly shaped glass and concrete layers standing on a monolithic base: at one end of the building is the entrance to the car park, at the other the pedestrians entrance.
At this point the basement becomes a large plaza, an empty space dissected lengthwise by two symmetrical ramps leading inside. This dark and low-ceilinged area leads to the inside of the well of light that is open for the whole height of the building, where the reception area is situated. From here the alternating light and dark layers are visible; the former, in glass, lit from the outside and the latter, in concrete mixed with other materials and local earth.
The rest of this floor (which totals 550 sqm) is designed to house the reception area and exhibition hall. The remaining six floors, each covering a space of 600 sqm and a height of 3,4 m. house on the first one, office facilities, a library and cafeteria; on the second floor there is an auditorium to seat 200 people (with a height of 7 m.), the press room and the press conference hall; the members and guest cafeteria is on the third floor with the library and the media library, the fourth and fifth floors offices and meeting rooms and the sixth contains ten apartments.
Sections B, C
PERES PEACE HOUSE
PLACE Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
CLIENT Peres Centre for Peace
ARCHITECTS Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas
INTERIOR DESIGN Fuksas Design
PROJECT LEADER Michal Schaffer
Engineer: Rokach & Aschkenazy
Structure: Kal-Binian Ltd
Plants Rom Geves Ltd
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Tema
AREA 7,000 sq.m
TOTAL FLOOR AREA 2,500 sq.m
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