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Academy of the Hebrew Language, Jerusalem

LOCATION: Jerusalem

PROGRAMME: Museum and offices

STATUS: Competition 2020 - Second place 

SIZE: 9.000 m2

CLIENT: Academy of the Hebrew Language

IN ASSOCIATION WITH: Daniel Finkelstein & Elvira Turek


An array of pavilions, seemingly distinct, are carefully integrated into the wooded landscape and coincide into one cohesive whole. Each of the buildings stands designed on its own, but at the same time functioning as part of the composition obeying the rules of a systemic syntax, from which all dimensions and proportions are derived. The Academy grows out of the site, carefully and precisely inherent in the process of organic germination. Its formal language, readable and carefully worded expresses the academy's accessibility to the general public.

The positioning of this structural array at the eastern side of the site supports the axis of the Hebrew Language Museum, creating a dialogue with the National Library building designed by Herzog and De Meuron and preserving the rich old forest in its place. The spaces between the buildings expose visitors to interlude views outwards, creating an intimate proximity to the pine trees at the site and its surroundings (Hebrew University, Israel Museum, Biblical Land Museum, Archaeological Campus, National Library).The entrance pavilion on the southern side of the site, emphasizes the vitality of the connection to the Israel Museum to the south and to the National Library to the east. The three are connected by an entrance urban plaza, to which the Museum Shop and Café are opened, enabling its independent operation even outside of the museum’s operating hours. The cafe is adjacent to the public plaza in a spacious, shaded space, which allows for pleasant outdoor seating of up to fifty people, in addition to a seating area of about thirty people in the interior space of the entrance pavilion. The Museum is designed as a flexible space, suitable for both permanent and rotating exhibitions. The open and wide space is divided into three main volumes, some of which are organized as double-height spaces and some as two separate floors. The spaces can be combined or separated by varying partitions and display walls, depending on the requirements of the exposition.