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Ron Arad Rips Off Richard Serra in His First Major Building

The Design Museum Holon

Fresh off of a landmark exhibition at MoMA, furniture-designer Ron Arad is rounding on another milestone: In January, he’ll complete The Design Museum Holon, in central Israel.

Arad was born in Israel but made his career in London. Though trained as an architect at London’s Architectural Association in the 1970s–a hot house period that also saw Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas studying there–his furniture business took off first in the 1980s, after Jean-Paul Gaultier bought one of his chairs, made from the gutted seating of a car. He’s toyed with architecture since then, but has never built anything approaching the scale of the Holon museum.

It’s hard to miss the fact that the building looks like the love child of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim New York, and a Richard Serra sculpture. The latter similarity goes beyond looks, too: The building is clad in five twisting bands of cor-ten steel, the same stuff that Serra uses in his pieces. It’s intended to be the center piece of a 16-year urban revitalization for the tiny city, which lies on the coast south of Tel-Aviv. It’s neighbors will include the National Cartoon Museum, theaters, and a libraries.

It would be fun to be a fly on the wall when the famously prickly Serra first gets wind of this one.

The Design Museum Holon

A rendering of the building, which gives you a better sense of the overall design:

The Design Museum Holon

[For more images, see Design Boom]CK