A book that celebrates the fifth anniversary of a building is not something we'd normally get excited about here at Wallpaper*. But a new tome by Ron Arad Architects has proved to be an exception to the rule. The epic and era-defining Design Museum Holon marked the Israeli architect and designer's first building in his home territory – an occasion festively wrapped in the emblematic ribbon colours of this handsome new book.
We at W* have something of a personal connection to the building, having featured it on a limited edition cover back in 2010, weeks before its opening. This was Arad’s favourite picture of the building, a geometric shot by Asa Bruno, who took many of the sweeping images inside the pages of Design(ing) Museum.
The edition replicates the whimsical style of the museum, made up of perforated French folds and wrapped up in rusted coloured ribs that echo the swooping curves of the building. Opening the perforations, innovation flies across the pages; telling the story behind the completed structure via development details and sketches of the impressive project, with a timeline of events and construction ending at the opening exhibition. It was a building of firsts – from being the first Israeli museum dedicated to design, to Arad experimenting with weathered Corten steel, and we get a meaty insight into the genius behind the build from the point of view of the firm itself.
Alongside, we're provided with a charming metal letter opener, also rustically carved in the swishing curves of the building, to playfully assist with opening the thick, perforated pages, revealing the story in full.
'We had this task: to do architecture as a piece of art,' the book informs us. The narrative is made all the more monumental for the unique experimentation and research explored in such a nascent design hub as Holon. ‘It would have to be widely recognisable, iconic but unthreatening,’ the architects explain – and it certainly was.