The Wohl Center manifests the engineers’ and architects’ reflection of the distinct forms of the building with coherence and elegance. Designed by international American architect and professor Daniel Libeskind with the association of local architecture firm – The Header Architecture, this structure emphasizes striking geometrical shapes and clutter-free interiors. Architect Daniel Libeskind received international recognition and is well known for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and has received various international awards for his designs. His other notable designs for buildings are the Denver Art Museum, Grand Canal Theater, Imperial War Museum, Royal Ontario Museum, Danish Jewish Museum, etc. Besides designing building projects, architect Daniel Libeskind is also known for designing objects, furniture, fixtures, and sculptures.

Set in the city of Ramat-Gan, which is a predominantly metropolitan city and home to various high-tech industries in Tel Aviv District, Israel, the Wohl Center stands on the campus of Bar-Ilan University, one of the leading universities of Israel. It is located in the center and has access to major cities and other transport facilities. The university has gained prominence in Israel and achieved a milestone in different fields of human endeavor. There has been a rise in students from 70 to 19,000 since its inception.

Maurice Wohl funded the project, where the budget was relatively small. The chief consultants of the project were Ortam-Sahar Ltd as contractors, Josef Kahan & Partners as structural engineers, Shalom Ozer as electrical engineers, Dinnebier Licht as lighting engineers, Abraham Melzer & Uzi Livni as acoustic engineers.

The project, entitled “Voices and its Echoes,” was a significant expansion to Bar-Ilan University. The project gave visual form to the school’s essential qualities- a respect for the secular and sacred. It also served as a unifying element for the diverse and fragmented campus. The architects of the building could create a space that is simultaneously modern and form-oriented.

The Wohl Center By Architect Daniel Libeskind: An Open Book - Sheet1
The Wohl Centre aerial view_©BitterBredt

Visually Appealing Geometric Form and Façade 

Dynamics of knowledge and the unifying role of faith are visible as evidence in the form. The highly effective geometrical form stands out from the rest of the buildings on the campus and its surroundings with its regular polygons and fine edges. The façade of the building resembles an ‘open book’ resting like a crown on two horizontal walls, and acts as a gateway for the university students. According to Daniel Libeskind, the book form represents ‘interrelation between the dynamics of knowledge and the unifying role of faith.’

The exterior is covered with gold colored aluminum, and the windows give us the impression as though they are cutting through the façade and windows inspired by their shapes from Hebrew letters. The lighting of the auditorium penetrates through complex shapes of Hebrew letters. It is equipped with public parking facilities at a nominal fee.

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Night view of Center and cityscape_©BitterBredt
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Labyrinth expressed on exterior_©BitterBredt

Auditoriums and Interiors as Flexible Spaces

Completed in October 2005, The Wohl Center functions as a convention center and sprawls over 38000sqft with 1000 seating auditoriums. The architect emphasized the flexibility of spaces working equally, either day or night. One can also use the lobby as an assembly area and refreshments, which can also function as a flexible space for distinct functions. It extends its facilities for various musical performances, lectures, conferences, and other special group events. The convention center includes two auditoriums, two halls, a VIP room, and a lobby with an attached balcony. 

  1. Auditorium- A seating capacity of 800 luxury seats, the hall equips with an adjustable stage, a large projection screen, technological equipment, air condition facilities, computerized systems to control lighting, and acoustic systems.
  2. Conference 1- near the entrance, the hall accommodates around 200 individuals where the seating can be flexible either as in a theater meeting or sitting around tables. They provide it with state-of-art technological equipment.
  3. Conference 2- It is also on the entrance floor. With the arrangement of stairs, one can easily maintain direct eye contact with the lecturer. The levels are wide enough to accommodate furniture with 120 seats as theater seating.
  4. Conference and event hall- This is a 3000-seating capacity hall located on the private floor. It connects to the hospitality plaza and cocktail terrace.
  5. VIP Rooms- The significant function is for business meetings up to 20 guests with spacious seating and air-conditioned facilities.
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Auditorium_©BitterBredt
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Detail of the cafe_©BitterBredt
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Entrance lobby doubles as an event space_©BitterBredt

They designed the interiors, considering acoustical principles when musical performances take place, one of the most used electro-acoustic equipment in the world. The conference center is managed by professionally dedicated and skilled staff belonging to an engineering group that specializes in operating hotels.

Out of the well-known buildings designed by international architect Daniel Libeskind, the Wohl center received RIBA International Award in 2006 and was included in the conservation buildings department listings by the city of Ramat-Gan in 2012. His other selective famous designs of buildings and projects and creative processes can be explored in the book ‘Edge of order.’

References:

  1. The Wohl Center. Libeskind. (2019, October 23). Retrieved January 29, 2022, from https://libeskind.com/work/the-wohl-centre/  
  2. The Wohl Center: Studio Daniel Libeskind. Archello. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2022, from https://archello.com/project/the-wohl-centre  
  3. Wikimedia Foundation. (2020, November 28). Wohl Centre. Wikipedia. Retrieved January 29, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wohl_Centre  
  4. Wohl Conventions Center, Conference Halls, Business Conference Center. , Conference Halls, Business Conference Center. (2018, November 5). Retrieved January 29, 2022, from https://wohl-center.com/wohl-conventions-center/  
Author

Sahithi is an Indian-based Architect and Interior designer. While Architecture is her profession, writing is her passion and makes her feel compelling. She believes writing about Architecture can bring a positive change and develop a sensitivity towards culture and Heritage.Despite these,she loves traveling.

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