The New Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv is not simply a bus terminal.
This concrete monster was an ambitious project, started in 1967 and opened to public 26 years later, in 1993. It was also planned as an enormous shopping center where a person could spend all day. The architect’s vision was to create a “city under a roof” where you would get lost among the shops.
Тhe idea has failed - the place did not attract as many people as anticipated.
Its brutalistic architecture and inner labyrinths did not create a particularly pleasant shopping experience. Some shops were never opened for business.
In 2002 air pollution was discovered on underground floors 1 and 2 which served as bus stops. These levels were closed to the public and subsequently abandoned.
As the building was getting emptier, it started to get dark and dangerous by attracting marginal elements of society.
Recently, the current manager of The Station decided to improve its image in the eyes of the public and has made efforts to attract the creative community.
The west wing of floor 7 was turned to a street art gallery.
Shops on floor 5 are offered for a discounted price as studios to artists. 2 theatres are active inside The Station, and a dancing troupe has opened a shiny new studio on floor 4.
The Station had become a place of alternative art and modern culture - and an art object in itself, in its impractical complexity.
In my series I chose to reflect the building’s journey in time, as I described it above : something planned as mundane (despite all grandiosity, in essence a mall and a bus terminal), gradually descending into desolation and darkness : The Medieval Times, and then slowly coming back to the light : The Renaissance.