Totzeret HaAretz in Tel Aviv (or ToHa, as it’s commonly known) is one of Gav-Yam’s most prominent projects. This remarkable building showcases the successful combination of business initiative, innovative architectural design, and ecological thinking that takes into account the needs of visitors as well as employees who will use the building’s offices. Located at the intersection of Yigal Alon and Totzeret HaAretz Streets, and Derech HaShalom, in Tel Aviv, ToHa is an impressive and eye-catching structure on the Tel Aviv skyline that has raised the bar for all future buildings and projects. The current 27-story tower will soon be joined by another adjacent tower of over sixty stories.
An Innovative Project
ToHa came to fruition thanks to the combined efforts of Gav-Yam and the two well-known architectural firms responsible for the tower’s design, Ron Arad Architects, who have offices in both Israel and the UK, and the Israeli Yashar Architects, headed by Avner Yashar. Throughout ToHa’s design process, tremendous emphasis was placed on creating welcoming and inviting spaces for visitors and employees alike by planting trees, creating fish ponds, and choosing raw materials and the building’s façade to suit the local climate. The resultant building is impressive and exceptional, comfortable to be in, and enjoyable to explore.
An Impressive & Exceptional Appearance
ToHa is constructed from three structures that come together to form a single tower, before diverging once more. From a bird’s eye view, the building appears to resemble the letter “L”. One of the tower’s base sections is clad with brass panels that give it a golden shimmer which, according to the architects, will fade into a more subtle shade of bronze and become less pronounced over time, but without losing its distinctive, unusual appearance. The large space between the tower’s base sections allows pedestrians uninterrupted views of the urban landscape between the sections, and creates a feeling of movement and life throughout the property. The design of the building, with three separate towers that expand as they rise to merge into a single building, allows for minimal impact on the landscape and provides considerable area for public landscaping purposes.
Adapted to Climatic Conditions
In contrast to other magnificent towers and buildings which are encased in a glass façade solely for aesthetics, ToHa has been designed so that natural light and exposure to sunlight are controlled and varied according to the time of day and season. The tower’s façade is made of double-glazed panels, each of which houses blinds that can be opened and closed as needed, according to the sun’s movement. This way, daylight can be used to its best advantage, while minimizing glare and gloominess.
Inviting to the General Public
In general, designers of tall buildings and towers are committed to keeping open spaces accessible to the public. However, these public areas are often created in such a way that they actually keep the public at arm’s length. In ToHa, the designers took great care to create inviting and pleasant open spaces that would appeal to everyone. Among other features, a grove of 1.1 hectares has been planned, with hundreds of trees, ecological pools, and benches. To this end, the developers, Gav-Yam and their partners, opted not to build a mall on the ground floor and instead put a restaurant and café there, creating a welcoming space for both passersby and employees who can spend their breaks in a shaded, pleasant environment.
When designing the ToHa building, Gav-Yam and its partners insisted that considerable attention be paid to ecological considerations. Their advanced ecological approach is expressed on several levels:
- The building’s footprint – the area of land the building occupies is relatively small compared to the size of the building. To give you an idea of dimension, the building occupies 1500 sq. m of land, yet has a built-up area of 55,000 sq. m.
- Encouraging the use of green transportation – even though the development secured a permit for a 1300 vehicle car park, ToHa’s 4-story underground car park was built for 950 vehicles. As well, hundreds of secure bicycle parking spaces are located in the complex to encourage workers to use eco-friendly transportation.
- Advanced building – according to the developer requirements, the building was constructed according to the LEED Platinum green building standard and includes shading systems, nighttime ventilation, and advanced energy systems, which have resulted in savings of approximately 30% on air conditioning and lighting expenses. Green building materials were also used, as were advanced water systems that have led to water savings of about 50%.
Setting a High Bar for Future Towers
Gav-Yam’s ToHa project will feature two buildings at the heart of the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area, at the intersection of Yigal Alon and Totzeret HaAretz Streets and Derech HaShalom. The project’s first stage has already set a high bar for future projects, which will be required to demonstrate environmental responsibility and ecological and practical planning to meet the superior standards set by ToHa. The complex is situated close to the HaShalom train station, will be passed by a fast lane to the city in the near future, and by two subway lines in the more distant future. If the additional projects planned to be built in the area do in fact meet the standards set by Gav-Yam and its partners, we expect a refreshing change in the urban Tel Aviv Metropolitan landscape.
114 Yigal Alon Street, Tel Aviv-Jaffa
Architect: Ron Arad & Yashar Architects