Re-ordering and a generative street language promotes urban intensity

Re-ordering and a generative street language promotes urban intensity

Project Name

Ibn Gabirol Renewal

Ibn Gabirol Street is a main commercial street in Tel Aviv running from Yehuda Halevy Street in the south to the Yarkon River in the north. The street marks the midline between the city’s historic north western fabric and its north eastern districts. Ibn Gabirol is characterised by a built arcade and mixed commercial, office and residential uses along it fronting is two way main traffic artery, with three traffic lanes in each direction. The renewal of Ibn Gabirol followed the Tel Aviv municipality’s decision to upgrade the street’s infrastructure. Our work focused on transforming Ibn Gabirol into an active urban axis by purging, and unifying the streetscape and introducing a distinct street language to demarcate parallel linear paths for each of its users – pedestrians, cyclists, public transportation, cars, commercial real estate owners, and residents.

A central facet of the street reordering was the consolidation of multiple and distinct systems – traffic signs and streetlights, pedestrians and bicycles, bus stops and parking, seating and resting areas, all of which reinforce the streets’ continuity and linear functionality. Palm trees replaced the existing planted lane barriers, clearing the ground plane and opening the horizon while introducing a uniform rhythm along Ibn Gabirol. New Shade trees were planted on the street flanks softening the built arcade.
The schematic environmental marshaling of the streetscape along with clean, minimal design interventions establishes a calming formal simplicity within a complex and frenetic urban environment.

The planning process engaged multiple stakeholders from across architecture, landscape and product design, the Ministry of Transport and traffic planners on changes to curb-stones, traffic radii, cycling routes and more, municipal maintenance departments for tree planting alongside business and commercial real estate owners in all matters relating to the interface between private and public interests. Ibn Gabirol as an urban “program” offered an integrative spatial framework for its renewal, serving as a local model for mixed use urban streetscapes. In the decade since its refurbishment, Ibn Gabirol has seen a revival of its commercial and residential appeal and a dramatic increase in cycling, scooter and motorbike traffic, that are both a testimony to its successful reinvention while challenging the streets functional capacity to scale.

Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel
Construction and Infrastructure Administration, Tel Aviv Jaffa Municipality
3 kilometers
Photo credits
Asaf Evron