The Gordon Gallery

The Gordon Gallery, one of Israel’s most prominent art institutions, recently opened its third exhibition space in an industrial Tel Aviv neighborhood bordering Jaffa. The Israeli-Franco firm Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture designed the gallery, which focuses on contemporary art. The gallery is tucked between a zipper factory and a carpentry workshop, with just one facade facing the street.

The architects were tasked with designing a structure that would fit in this industrial area while still looking modern. Another challenge? Avoiding the “white box” look that most galleries have.

“The designing of any art gallery is as much about its boundaries as the volumes that defy definition,” says Asaf Gottesman. “As architects who are commissioned to design art spaces, we have learned that works of art are perceived in their fullest richness in spaces that have character, where spaces are akin to the silence or counterpoint that exists between the musical notes.”

To create a space with character, the architects installed three large, separate windows to play with light, shade and texture within the gallery. They placed a long window on top of the street-facing wall, which also has a small opening that allows a peek into the double-height gallery area. Inside, a long clerestory window at the roof’s center pitch brings indirect light into the gallery. The third window is located at the rear of the building.

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