Ahad Ha’am Tower / Bar Orian Architects + Schwartz Besnosoff Architects
Text description provided by the architects. Bar Orian Architects, a leading international architecture firm based in Israel and established by Tal and Gidi Bar Orian in 1990, officially reveals its latest project – Ahad Ha’am Tower – a 24-floor modern skyscraper consisting of 170 residential units, commercial spaces, artist studios, a library and high-tech incubator located within a burgeoning neighborhood in Haifa, Israel’s third largest city. Ahad Ha’am Tower is a joint collaboration between Bar Orian Architects and Haifa-based firm Schwartz Besnosoff Architects.
Ahad Ha’am Tower is located in Haifa’s Hadar neighborhood, which for years served as the socio-economic and cultural center of the coastal port city. The neighborhood’s design was first drafted in the 1930’s by renowned architect Richard Kaufman, widely considered one of the most influential architects in the history of Israel. Kaufman, who was greatly influenced by Sir Ebenezer Howard, an English urban planner, designed the Hadar neighborhood according to the principles of the “Garden City.” Ahad Ha’am Tower reinvents Haifa’s architectural legacy by propelling an urban concept aimed at dealing with intensive urbanization and densification processes.
Ahad Ha’am Tower is based upon three different typical floors that create a vertical neighborhood of sorts and speaks to the existing principles in the Hadar neighborhood. Horizontal lines, three-dimensional facades, shaded sun terraces and functional and clean materials exemplify the architectural values in the tower. These characteristics are present in the project’s surrounding environment, which is composed primarily of International architectural-style buildings.
Ahad Ha’am Tower’s three-dimensional facades manifest a unique identity to each of the apartments in the project. The primary goal of Ahad Ha’am Tower was to create a microcosm of local culture that distills the principles of the entire neighborhood by combining a commercial floor on the ground level with an array of artist workshops – an important part of the neighborhood’s revitalization. Alongside the skyscraper, the Birkenheim House, a 19th-century Templar building, has been restored to serve as a commercial area that combines artist studios and a café. The building was restored together with various craftsmen while paying attention to the details of the wood, iron and stone that characterized the original building, all the while under the strict supervision of the Israeli Society for the Conservation and Preservation.
The materiality of Ahad Ha’am Tower is composed of exposed concrete castings that create a complete and coherent aesthetic with the architectural language of the many preservation buildings in the neighborhood. The Ahad Ha’am Tower seamlessly integrates into the existing urban fabric and pays respect to the original aesthetic of Haifa, based upon the Bauhaus architectural style of the 1930’s and restored century Templar buildings, while creating a new dimension of the surrounding cityscape.
Ahad Ha’am Tower’s 170 residential spaces over 24-floors all come replete with iconic panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Carmel. Ahad Ha’am Tower, which is currently populated by a diverse population consisting of academics, high-tech entrepreneurs, designers and artists from diverse ethnic backgrounds, symbolizes a new era for the entire neighborhood towards the modernization of the neighborhood as a significant urban center in Haifa.