When the Academy “Bezalel” in Jerusalem wanted a new building, they held a competition for the new design, to be constructed northwest of the Old City. Jerusalem is an ancient city with a rich history spanning centuries. Over the years, it has seen many culturally and religiously significant buildings built. The sightlines to such important religious buildings must always be kept free, even as new buildings go up. Jerusalem also has a very unique topography, and from the start, it was important that the new structure fit seamlessly into its surroundings.


Because of that, we didn’t want to design one monumental building, blocking the sightlines of surrounding areas. We also took inspiration from the special white Jerusalem stone – all new buildings must be up to 70% of this material. It’s from these stones that Jerusalem takes its nickname, ‘the golden city’, as the stone reflects a golden shimmer when the city is bathed in sunlight.

floorplan -1
floorplan +1

We began with the concept of broken stones, swimming in space. The new building will be comprised of several different buildings, corresponding to the separate units of the Academy. Framed in the spaces between the buildings are sightlines to the old city, the east mountain, and other important religious structures.

The project was made in collaboration with Anita Rühle.