in 2013, bezalel academy of arts and design — israel’s national school of art — revealed plans to build a new campus in the heart of jerusalem. now, the project — designed by japanese firm SANAA — is well underway after breaking ground in 2015. spread over six floors, two of which will be below ground, the building will be glazed in order to reflect the surrounding structures, while allowing views inside. the new campus will include spaces for studios, classrooms, workshops, and administrative offices as well as public areas such as galleries, a store, a café, and a cafeteria.

SANAA bezalel academy
all images © SANAA

 

 

bezalel academy of arts and design was founded in 1906 by the artist boris schatz. the institution commissioned SANAA, alongside israeli firm nir – kutz architects, to design a new educational complex in jerusalem’s russian compound on a hill overlooking the old city. to be known as the ‘jack, joseph and morton mandel campus’, the building will occupy 42,000 square meters and is expected to bring about 2,500 students and 500 faculty members to the city center.

SANAA bezalel academy
the horizontal layout of the slabs is intended to allow natural light to infiltrate the building on all sides

 

 

in order to integrate the building into its setting, and to offer views towards the city below, the design consists of exposed concrete slabs that follow the natural gradient of the landscape. this horizontal layout is intended to allow natural light to infiltrate the building on all sides, while ensuring panoramic views out. internally, the campus is connected by ramps and stairs that are intended to create free flowing movement between the different levels.

SANAA bezalel academy
the vegetation used echoes the native landscape

 

 

outdoor courtyards have been conceived as meeting areas paved with jerusalem stone and populated with vegetation that echoes the native landscape. the school also hopes that the campus’ geographic location, and its focus on public exhibitions and academic events, will create a connection between east and west jerusalem and serve as a meeting place for jews, muslims, and christians; secular, religious and ultra-orthodox.

SANAA bezalel academy
the design follows the terrain of the landscape

 

 

bezalel has now completed its on site excavations, and is preparing to begin infrastructural work in march 2019. the academy aims to complete the construction of the building in time for the school’s academic year beginning october 2022. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

SANAA bezalel academy
the building site prepared for construction

SANAA bezalel academy
the campus is located in jerusalem’s russian compound on a hill overlooking the old city

 

 

project info:

 

architects: SANAA and nir – kutz architects
client: bezalel academy of arts and design, jerusalem
area:
 42,000 square meters
scheduled completion: 2022

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news