Lodzia Textile Factory was built by the contractor E.A. Weiss in 1923 on behalf of the Berlin & Passovsky Office that served as architects and planners. The factory was one of the first large industrial facilities in Tel Aviv. The founders were Jews from the city of Lodz in Poland and hence the factory’s name. The original factory was a single floor building and the second structure was erected in 1924 next to the original one. Even though the founders were masters of their trade, the factory failed and became profitable only after being purchased by Arie Shenkar in 1925. In the course of time the factory employed more than 140 workers and the production expanded into other products. The year 1929 saw the building of another wing as a third floor of the original structure, executed by architect Hershkowicz. With the establishment of Holon to the south of Tel Aviv, the factory was moved there, to enjoy more spacious location. Since 1935 the factory resides at the entrance to Holon, while the old 3-storey building, built from reddish bricks, still towers along the Nahmani Street.
For many years the unusual red structure stood empty and unused, except for occasional utilizations such as art exhibitions or serving as a warehouse. In 2008 it was purchased with the purpose of transforming it into a modern residential building in the eastern part of “Lev Ha-Ir” (City Center in Hebrew) neighborhood.
The road toward obtaining the coveted conservation and building permits was far from easy. The building’s designation as bound for conservation is anchored in two urban planning programs (In “Lev Ha-Ir” program the building was declared as building for conservation at level A’, while in the municipal conservation program 2650/b declared it bound for conservation under strict limitations). These declarations secured the conservation of Lodzia House as part of Tel-Aviv’s heritage for future generations. In addition to the obligation to conserve it as it was built in the 1920’s, a strict prohibition was issued regarding any deviation from the original and making any construction additions. These restrictions posed a real planning challenge to the effort to convert the old factory structure dating to the previous century into modern residential apartments matching the requirements of the current law and standards. The realization that any addition of areas essential for the existence of the project can be done only underground, and in totally concealed fashion (according to the demands of the Urban Planning Program and the municipal conservation team), led to the planning of two underground levels across the whole area of the lot and under the conserved structure.
The underground level features planned basements that include parking and service areas needed for adequate operation of the building, as well as an independent transformers room matching the demands of the Electric Company. In order to build the underground basements under the historic building a temporary support was planned for the existing structure, using hundreds of steel poles embracing the wall and foundations of the old structure, supported in their turn by special reinforcement walls erected along the perimeter of the lot and further supporting foundations. This method enabled to disconnect the original foundations in order to conduct the digging works and removing thousands tons of sand to create the basement.
The external conservation works are scheduled to begin when the underground basements are to be completed and the stability of the historic structure upon these new additions is ensured, parallel to the building of the apartments within the building’s envelope. As a result of the preliminary documentation and research works the building’s façades were planned to resemble the original ones as closely as possible. Conservation demands require application of the original material of red and white silica bricks. We have managed to salvage some of these original bricks and the missing ones would have to be restored through a special process that would enable manufacturing of white bricks similar to the original ones and matching the environmental building standards of our time. Another item requiring matching modern standards is the original factory windows, which are unsuitable for residential apartments, this time in the isolation and sealing. The original steel windows would be restored with utmost precision through matching of all these new demands.
All the electromechanical systems required for proper operation of the building (such as elevator motors, water reservoir, heating, electricity room, etc.) were planned to reside in the building’s basements.
In the past the roof of the historic building was covered with tin-zinc plates, a fact known to us from the historic photographs and the original planning appearing in the detailed documentation file prepared before the planning.
As these zinc tiles cannot be purchased from an industrial producer, they were custom made manually for this project.
Work Initiation: September 2013
Expected Completion Date: May 2015
Client: “Karmey Arava Ltd.”
Interior Design: Orly Shrem Architects Ltd.
Project Management and Supervision: Margolin Bros. Engineering & Consulting Ltd.
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