Zarhy Architects were chosen among three other finalists to participate in the final round of an invited competition to design the new premises of the Israeli Government in Jerusalem. More images and architect’s description after the break.
What is Democracy? “The state was created for man, not man for the state” claimed Albert Einstein. This is our starting point.
What is Government Architecture? The Government is one of the three governing authorities in Israel, alongside the Supreme Court and the Parliament. The Government Campus sits gracefully between the symbolic realms of the Supreme Court and the Parliament, and their surrounding environment. We believe that the Government Architecture should not be literal, but ought to be symbolic. Literal renditions are while leadership prevails perpetually, adjusting itself to the ever-changing world. What is Jerusalem Architecture? It has to be inspired by the past, but look forward towards the future. It is grandiose yet restrained. It is connected to its environment. It is optimistic, giving credence to a better future.
We believe in a heterogeneous, multi-faceted Jerusalem that empowers all human beings regardless of sex, race, or religion to find their place in it. What is the Government Campus? We propose a strategy, rather than a fixed plan, that allows for versatility while maintaining the iconic and symbolic qualities of the Government Campus. We propose to transform an accumulation of scattered buildings into a unified Government Campus, which will be transparent, generous, efficient and accessible– in other words, a paradigm of democratic architecture. It will be a place where people can wander freely, enjoying a human scale and breathtaking views of Jerusalem. The main entrance to the campus is through an official plaza, which welcomes visitors. The lower part of the campus meets nature using a system of terraces. The buildings strive to be as horizontal and low as possible, connecting elegantly to the landscape. They are north-south oriented, creating maximal protection from the sun the natural wind regime of the area.
A public program is located in the terraces while individual offices are located above. Between them, the spine of the campus is created using a pedestrian passage that is a quiet public space for workers and visitors of the campus. The typical building The buildings we propose allow flexibility while maximizing interaction by means of the characteristic Jerusalem courtyard. The structure, based on a required 12m wide building, offers a shaded and open public space in its center. This helps enhance the buildings’ sustainability by permitting natural light and ventilation to access all rooms.
Architects: Zarhy Architects Location: Jerusalem, Israel Design Team: David Zarhy, Daniel Zarhy, Natanel Elfassy, Nimrod Serok, Nahalal Serok, Chen Natan Collaborators: Dan Zur, Lior Wolf (landscape), H.R.V.A.C Consulting Engineering, Dor-Ad Sustainability – Dori Hershgal, Dagesh Engineering (road and traffic) Size: 100,000 sqm Year: 2010 Images: Courtesy of Zarhy Architects