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Law School building, Sapir college

LOCATION: Sha'ar Hanegev, Israel

PROGRAMME: Educational building

STAGE: Competition

CLIENT: Sapir College


Sapir College stands at the forefront of Israeli academies and offers quality home for a diverse community of students and faculty. The momentum of physical development together with the academic and social achievements of the college, raise astonishment in light of its unique physical location, on the front of the southern border of the State of Israel. The unique fabric of the campus combines buildings with open and protected areas and creates a relaxed and natural atmosphere. This feature encourages meetings between students and faculty from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds, from the screen arts to technology and law. The position of the building on the lot, and the design of the structural mass derive directly from these principles and the analysis of the traffic system around the site:

1. Orienting the building on a north-south axis reduces the area of ​​the facades exposed to security threats.

2. The location of the main entrance follows naturally from the main walking routes.

3. The subtraction of the mass from the building line inward allows the mass to be divided into several volumes and as a result of this:

  • Preservation of existing trees.
  • Maximum facade surface of ​an unthreatened reference.
  • Creating courtyard areas between the volumes that adds high-quality study and leisure spaces to the program.
  • Introducing natural light and creating a unique connection between interior and exterior while maintaining the protection requirements.
  • Development of the building plan in retirement on the longitudinal axis while dividing the program into distinct areas on an intimate scale (as opposed to institutionalized and formal).

The design of the facade was born from a careful analysis of the protection guidelines first and foremost. The goal we have set before us is the development of a design strategy for the front that will enable a response to the strict protection requirements as an inherent part of the building and its design and not as an oppressive addition and a constant reminder of the unique situation resulting from the location of the campus. Accordingly, the facade we offer is beautiful and contemporary, on the one hand, and on the other hand, it allows maximum introduction of light and natural ventilation into the building to ensure the well-being of the users.

The protection requirements stated that a canopy must be placed over every window located on the threatened front of the "protected space surrounding Gaza". The minimum depth of such a roof is 100 cm. To this we add vertical elements of the same depth. On top of the outer plane and distant about a meter from the window line, a layer of perforated and ventilated tin is added, which gives the structure a uniform and luxurious appearance (standard cost).
As a result, a system of double facades with varying depths is obtained that allows for optimal protection of each of the building's openings according to the protection guidelines, while it produces a free external facade (from the protection dictates of the specific openings) that is light and sustainable.