Crossposted from Haaretz
Next week, Tel Aviv joins the long list of cities around the world with art museums in contemporary, state-of-the-art buildings. What started with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain in the late 1990s began a mushrooming global trend of investing in the architecture of cultural institutions. Bilbao turned from a sleepy industrial city into a Mecca for lovers of art and design, and experienced an economic renaissance. The museum’s architect, Frank Gehry, set a new standard for architectural grandstanding and became a pole of attraction for other cities seeking similar recognition.
Once conservative and inflexible institutions, museums today are urban landmarks, playgrounds for bold architectural games. The new wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, designed by Preston Scott Cohen, is no exception. This very impressive and complex building is sure to become a familiar icon in short order.