A New Campus for Bezalel in the Center of Jerusalem | International Architecture Competition | Sebastian Irarrazaval Architects Submission
In order to highlight the new open character of Bezalel Academy of Art and it aims at integrating the faculties with the inhabitants of Jerusalem, we believes that the building should incorporate public space within and around it. With these goals in mind, we organized the project around two main ideas: First; The building as a "podium" that negotiate the natural slope and creates a public square on top of the building and Second; An inner "street" that connects both the lower and upper parts of the site, integrating public circulation of the city and activating the core of the building.
Public space on top of the podium accentuates the particular condition of the site as the top of a mount, creating a big horizontal plane that takes advantage of the views of iconic places like the Mount Olive and Mount Scopus. Also, this public realm is thought to be a congregative space and at the same time: a vacant spaces for open exhibitions .
The body of the building is organized alongside the inner street that gets access to different levels. Each faculty is organized around patios that incorporate natural light and ventilation . Common spaces to all faculties, such as the classrooms, are located on front of the building . Office spaces are located on top of it.
Larger spaces like the auditorium are placed next to the lower entrance and alongside the bigger patio.
MATERIALITY-contrast between interior and exterior
Regarding materiality, the main idea is to accentuate the contrast between interior and exterior. Consequently , we contrast the exterior skin and interior skin. Exterior surface is made out of Jerusalem stone, as it is posed in the competition documents and the inner skin is made out of different polish surfaces , alternating transparent, semi-transparent and opaque materials.