Fein 1 Central | HQ Architects | World Design Awards 2023

HQ Architects: Winner of World Design Awards 2023. Located in southern Tel Aviv, in a degraded area experiencing rapid transformations, Fein 1 Central apartment complex introduces much needed housing and street-front commercial spaces, while partially preserving fragments of the existing building.

Following the brief’s requirements to provide small apartments with cross ventilation the new design moved away from the characteristic Tel Aviv building typology by inverting the typical box building inside – out, and resolving both issues at once. The new 6,400 m² six-storey building introduces an inner courtyard, a focal area of the complex, allowing for large common balconies that are open to the sky.  The complex has a strong community character from its beginning, since it was initiated and built as a co-op residential project. It maintains a strong community spirit by featuring generous shared spaces, such as the red courtyard area and large curvaceous balconies that serve both as pathways and leisure spaces for residents. These meeting and gathering spaces are key elements in promoting and sustaining the residents’ community culture. The courtyard also contributes to a more sustainable living, promoting low energy consumption by offering shading in the summer and penetration of direct sunlight in the winter.

Fein 1 Central contains medium to small apartments, incorporating 53 apartments comprised by 49 two-bedroom apartments, 3 three-bedroom apartments and a 1 four-bedroom apartment. The scale of the apartments allows young families and young professionals – a major affordable housing local demographic, to remain in the neighborhood. Aso, the building includes 9 retail units, while incorporating 350 m² of existing fragments from the old structure.

 The building’s facade is minimal and symmetrical in an off white color- typical of local Tel Aviv architecture. Playful color contrast between inside and outside is used to emphasize public and private spaces; a strong red color is used in the courtyard offering a more private and airy shelter from the hot and busy street. The organic shaped balconies offer a fluid form which also contrasts the strictly symmetrical exterior facade, creating a clear distinction between street and shelter.  

The apartment complex also features a private 5 – level underground parking in an area that is very dense and lacks the vehicle parking space. Also, it was important to create minimal car exposure, and for the neighborhood to remain pedestrian friendly.

Project Details
HQ Architects

Erez Ella

Project Name
Fein 1 Central

World Design Awards Category
Housing Built

Project Location
Tel Aviv

Project Architects: Smadar Efrati, Oded Fux | Architect: Keshet Rosenblum


Photography ©Credit
©Dor Kedmi

HQ Architects is an international practice founded in Tel Aviv in 2008 by Erez Ella, which strives to question conventions and create culturally challenging buildings, spaces and urban environments. Focusing on a strong pragmatic and programmatic approach, the practice combines innovative and high quality design with strong technical expertise, and spearheads the design and construction over many projects of various scales in Israel and abroad.

HQ Architects expanding portfolio of work stretches among various sectors, including urban design,
public spaces and infrastructure, including a wide range of cultural and educational projects as well as
offices, hotels and retail projects.

Public and Urban projects are key to HQ Architects’ development. These include designs for major
infrastructure projects, including a 70,000sq. meters public transportation terminal in Petah Tikva and
the East Jerusalem Central Bus Station. Moreover, various public and educational projects, including
twenty Kindergarten complexes, a youth center, a student village and a city square in Sderot, among
others. Also, the practice is working together with the Israeli Government Authority for Urban
Regeneration on Israeli Cities, currently in Kfar Saba and Tiberias, and on a Master-plan for redefining
and transforming Lod’s old industrial area. HQ Architects is commissioned to re-imagine the Sheba
Medical Center -ranked world’s 9th best hospital, transforming the medical complex for the next 25
years into an innovative and well integrated healthcare environment.

The practice showcases strong expertise in Cultural and Institutional projects. Among the most noted
are the recently completed Michael Sela Auditorium at the Weizmann Institute of Science, the
Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance new building that will serve as an Advanced Inter Arts Center
(designed together with HWKN Architecture), and the House for singing – a choir performance hall in
Israel, both currently under construction. Also, two new building designs are underway, the new
Cultural Center in Lod and an Art foundation in Istanbul.

Moreover, HQ Architects joined Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA to realise the currently
under construction 42,000 sq. meters new campus of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in