Screening for an Urban Iceberg
The opportunity to redesign a 1.8-ha section of a densely populated urban area is a once in a decade chance. This was precisely the case in Tel Aviv, with ToHa (Totzeret Haaretz), a complex with two tower blocks of 28 and 70 floors respectively, covering 200,000 sq. m, largely for offices. Pellini was involved in this adventurous project by supplying the sunscreening. The first construction phase lasted from 2013 to 2018 and involved building the first tower, by architect and designer Ron Arad. The unusual proportions were a deliberate ploy, right from the initial conception, to give the building an “urban iceberg” look, making it stand out in the sea of the city’s skyline. The complex is not far from the city’s enormous Shalom train station, but differs radically from the surrounds because it is relatively ponderous and stout. Two joined blocks arranged in an “L” shape are supported by three thin structural “legs” that minimize the footprint on the ground, house nearly all of the installations and allow pedestrians to see much of the city beyond the building. These structures are sheathed in continuous brass that, initially, will have a golden tint, but over time will take on the more familiar, darker hue of bronze, providing a symbolic representation of the desire to express the natural integrity of the elements, without masking them with a façade finish. The ground floor has an amazing hall that soars seven stories high, while the top floor has restaurants and a garden. Both towers were designed to optimize shade, without blocking too much natural light from entering into the depths of the interior. The architects found a solution in Pellini’s technical blinds, with the company eventually supplying over 4,000 motorized brushless roller blinds (24V) that were inserted into the closed double-skin façade. Such blinds can be used in double-skin façades and hollow ventilated cavity walls. The brushless motors are less subject to wear as they use a magnetic field to operate, and specifically designed to reduce noise to a minimum and avoid any problems from electromagnetic interference. They passed a life test of over 200,000 cycles conducted at IFT Rosenheim and they can be used with home automation devices, including the option to receive feedback on the technical parameters. The blinds can be controlled in different ways, including by a button, a remote, a mobile device or even voice commands, and the synchronization between multiple blinds is top quality. Since the glazed façade on the Totzeret Haaretz complex could result in remarkably high temperatures, the motor and electronic board had to be guaranteed up to 90° C and the screening material had to provide excellent thermal performance, hence the choice to use EnviroScreen Verosol, which has one side coated with aluminum as well as being 100% recyclable and Cradle-to-Cradle certified.