Are tall buildings bad? The structure of Tel Aviv, a wide field of low apartment houses with intermittent 30-story spikes, makes the towers stand out more than they would in a gradual plan. The Shalom Tower (left) by Architects Gidon and Tova Ziv, Pearlstein Architects, and others, began this pattern in the early 1960's. The surrounding fabric was between 2 and 4 stories at the time.
In recent years, the construction of towers in the midst of low neighborhoods has drawn opposition from nearby residents, whose complaints rapidly escalate from questions of traffic and socioeconomic friction, to aesthetic and moral confrontation with the proposed projects. The future inhabitants of the towers are seen as rich intruders to quiet middle-class neighborhoods.
Some candidates in the recent municipal elections in Tel Aviv took stands against agressive development of the city, with new tower projects functioning as lightning rods for their arguments. The latest heir of the Shalom Tower tradition is a proposed project in the Old North End of Tel Aviv on the grounds of Assuta Hospital. More than 40 years after the Gymnasium was torn down to build the Shalom Tower, little has changed. Are the towers bad?