Today, SANAA (Sejima & Nishizawa and Associates) unveiled plans for a 400,000 square-foot building in Jerusalem that will form a new, interdisciplinary downtown campus for the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. The competition-winning proposal, designed by the 2010 Pritzker laureates in collaboration with Israel’s Nir -Kutz Architects, features an array of stacked horizontal slabs that react to the area’s topography and surrounding context in order to create a series of outdoor terraced viewing platforms and multi-level interior spaces where students and teachers can meet, study and display their work.
More on the new SANAA-design downtown campus after the break…
UPDATE: Israeli architect Rafi Segal appears to have abandoned his case to be reinstated as designer of the National Library of Israel. This decision comes after the client announced that it had signed a contract with Pritzker Prize-winning practice Herzog & de Meuron, who was initially chosen in April and triggered Segal’s demand to be reinstated. Now that the Swiss duo has officially signed onto the project, Segal has requested a withdrawal without prejudice. Before the hearing scheduled for September 12, 2013, Segal asked the court to withdraw the case. The court overruled his objections and granted HyperBina a compensation of fees and costs.
Official statement from the National Library Construction Company:
‘Rafi Segal, whose competition entry was disqualified for failure to meet the terms of the competition and who was therefore removed from being the “preferred architect”, is now trying to compel his selection through the courts. Notwithstanding his failure to meet the conditions of the competition by way of establishing his full and exclusive rights in and to the plan he submitted, and having conducted himself in ways that have resulted in his loss of credibility in the eyes of the client.
‘In December 2012, The Jerusalem District Court denied his request for an ex parte temporary injunction barring the selection of another architect for the project. The evening before the date of the hearing on the request for an injunction, Segal withdrew his petition – following submission of the Company’s reply. Segal also filed a lawsuit asking the Court to declare him the “Winning Architect”. The court denied Segal’s requests to expedite the process and set a preliminary hearing for May 2013.
‘In April, following a three months process, an international selection panel chaired by Prof. Luis Fernandez-Galiano, selected the 2011 Pritzker Prize winners Herzog & de Meuron to design the new Library building.
‘In the preliminary hearing on 8 May, Segal asked to add Herzog & de Meuron as a respondent in what seems to be an attempt not to lose legal grounds for his claim. Herzog & de Meuron have no involvement in the saga and have no obligation to defend their award.’
Just when it seemed that Herzog & de Meuron was the final choice for the design of the new National Library of Israel in Jerusalem, the initial competition winner, Israeli architect Rafi Segal, has launched a legal challenge against the project backers’ decision in hopes of being reinstated.
After carefully considering six international architecture firms – Ammar Curiel; Frank Gehry; Herzog & de Meuron; Kimmel Eshkolot, Kolker Kolker Epstein and Renzo Piano – an esteemed selection committee has chosen Herzog & de Meuron to design the new National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. The result comes after a controversial first attempt that ended in the dismissal of the initial competition winner for alleged copyright infringement.
More information after the break…
Designed by Gil Even-Tsur Architecture Workshop, their concept for the new National Library suggests that the architecture should be critical, strong, but also deferential and contextually responsive. Their intent is to display an almost aesthetic neutrality in terms of its form, assemblies, and materials by providing an architecture that acknowledges this complexity. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by Schwartz Besnosoff + SO Architecture, their competition winning proposal for the Museum of Nature and Science in Jerusalem emphasizes the desire to create an open, absorbent, breathing building – the type of building that communicates with the environment, and not a closed structure with fences and a guard. In accordance with the sustainable planning approach, the building’s external appearance is restrained and modest, on the one hand blending into the environment, and on the other hand enveloping a flexible, multifaceted, and dynamic structure. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Located in the heart of Jerusalem, next to Israel’s government assembly building, the second prize winning proposal in the Jerusalem Museum of Nature & Science competition creates a vibrant flexible building that integrates seamlessly into the landscape and urban setting. Designed by MYS Architects, their design approach was sustainability driven from the get go. More images and architects’ description after the break.
SCI-Arc graduate Harris Silver has shared his experience passing through the Kalandia Checkpoint during his quest for “an uncanny truth” that would lead him to develop an architecture project in the city of Jerusalem.
The Kalandia Checkpoint is an opening in what Israel calls “The Security Fence” and what Palestinians call “The Apartheid Wall”. Regardless of what you call the separation infrastructure, the checkpoint acts a modern gate to the city of Jerusalem.
After experiencing Kalendia first hand, I came away realizing that until I personally walked through the checkpoint, I was ignorant of the mechanism and tactics employed to humiliate and dehumanize everyone who passes through it. Which means I was not fully capable of participating in the Israeli-Palestinian discourse.
Continue reading for the full Op-Ed.
On view in the Israel Museum’s Billy Rose Art Garden through September 5, the 720° installation, designed by internationally renowned Israeli artist, architect, and designer Ron Arad, is of monumental proportions. Composed of 5,600 silicon rods suspended from a height of eight meters to form a perfect circle 25 meters in diameter, the silicon cords serve as an empty digital canvas on which works by prominent video artists from Israel and around the world – among them Mat Collishaw, Ori Gersht, Christian Marclay, and David Shrigley – are being screened each evening. Above is a time lapse video of the installation courtesy of Ram Matz, Jerusalem Season of Culture. For more information, please visit here.
The proposal for the National Library of Israel by ODA takes on special significance as a site where past, present, and future converge. Unlike traditional libraries, often closed fortresses of knowledge, the new library is organized around a variety of platforms of activity that enhance interaction between the users, enabling the library to become a forum for cross-disciplinary conversations. Through the form of a floating monolith that visually connects to the foundations of Parliament, the library underscores the idea that education and learning are the bedrock of democracy. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by o2a studio, the man-made structure for the Natural History Museum in Jerusalem is designated to celebrate the transcendent force and majesty of nature, which is a contradiction in terms. The paradoxical question that arises when approaching the design of a building that is dedicated as a showcase for the unbuilt, is how does one bridge this conceptual gap between the man-made and the organic – between the artificial and the natural. The proposal aims to highlight this difficulty, while allowing for a composite coexistence between the natural and the artificial – interpreted here as ranging between various degrees of control. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Chyutin Architects, in collaboration with Shmaya Zarfati, shared with us their first prize winning proposal for the District Courthouse in Jerusalem. Located on a newly designed main public square in the city center, the building houses all the judiciary levels except the Supreme Court, and contains 113 courtrooms and 135 judges’ chambers. The design of the court building connects and bridges among the host of diverse design languages of the buildings around it while creating a distinctive language of its own. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Polonsky Academy building, designed by Chyutin Architects, is situated on the cliff facing south towards the Jerusalem Theater. Its northern side faces the Main Garden Court which will function as the heart of the campus in the new master plan. The low horizontal appearance of the Polonsky Academy building fits in with the dimensions and design characteristics of the existing buildings with their closed stone fronts to the city and glass fronts facing the open inner garden. Other building materials to be used are exposed concrete and wood slats. The design of the building elevation respects the modernistic spirit of the existing buildings. More images and architects’ description after the break.