The Gallery's new space, in south Tel-Aviv, sits within an industrial area in transition. Next door there is a factory for zippers and a carpentry workshop. Architects and designers have begun to move in and the new urban plan has rezoned the area as high density, mixed-use with the possibility of constructing residential towers. Thus, this space can be viewed as temporary. Yet we have learnt over the years that there are few things as permanent as temporary structures.
Although this structure may be temporary, it cannot afford to be taken lightly. The designing of any art gallery is as much about its boundaries as the volumes that defy definition. Light and shade, as well as, the dialogue between the internal and external areas are all forces that color our perception.
As architects who are commissioned to design art spaces, we are occasionally drawn towards pursuing the notion of neutrality as a referential gesture towards the works of art that may occupy the space in the future. Yet we have learnt that works of art are perceived in their fuller richness in spaces that have character, where spaces are akin to the silence or counterpoint that exist between the musical notes.
The neutral “white box” may serve as a concept but it is ultimately a Platonian illusion. The slightest hint of shadow or texture, or the mere existence of spatial proportions; serve as the prelude to the specificity of space.In the designing of the New Gordon Gallery, our aim was to set the stage for the unexpected; to enhance the senses not through the introduction of noise but through the silence of light and shade; to enable a measured discourse between objects and the spaces that they occupy.