Pliskin Architecture has been awarded as a finalist in the competition for the Mevaseret Music School, in Mevaseret Zion, Israel. The firm’s proposal centers on the site’s existing topography, as well as the idea of public space through the elevation of the classroom programs to the upper level, and the creation of a continuous open space at street level.
The new public space at the street level leads visitors to a partially covered plaza, which will act as the main access point for the various functions of the conservatory. A café will be located adjacent to the plaza, where visitors can be partially exposed to the school’s activity via the building’s massing.
The design additionally features an auditorium, which is nestled into the hillside, facing southeast in the direction of a prominent, undeveloped ravine, which will act as a backdrop for performances. This view is further enhanced by the placement of backstage and support spaces underneath the seating, rather than in plain view. Furthermore, the backstage space is directly accessible from the parking lot and loading dock, allowing for the arrival of artists and instruments out of sight of the audience.
The architect explains that “the auditorium adapts acoustically to different music types using motorized acoustic roller shades that accommodate different reverb times by changing the ratio of reflective and absorptive surfaces.”
Similar shades are also utilized in the dance hall, orchestra room, and choir room, all of which are located at the lower level.
The elevated classroom level is clad with a slotted stone enclosure that allows filtered light to enter the spaces, balancing natural light with privacy needs, and offering a contemporary interpretation of the traditional stone cladding that is unique to this area. Several of the private study spaces face the entrance plaza below, providing students with the option of raising the shades to create a visual connection with visitors and expose the variety of learning opportunities that the conservatory provides. Another unique experience is provided in the rock rooms – a motorized skylight allows the room’s roof to fully open, creating an open-air-patio rehearsal space when the weather allows it.
LocationMevaseret Zion, Israel
Project TeamLee Altman, Travis Bunt, Thomas Heltzel, Barak Pliskin, James Quick, Amy Shell, and Mat Staudt
News via Pliskin Architecture.