New Campus Project for Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, Israel, 1st. Prize


In January, 2008 STUDYO has been commisioned to design the New Campus for Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, after winning a worldwide open architecture competition in July 2007. Housing ten design oriented faculties, the academy will move back from its campus location on Mount Scopus outside the city center. With this move Bezalel is going to bring along 3000 students into the heart of Jerusalem within the Russian Compound, where the academy’s roots are. Construction will prospectively end of 2009 beginning of 2010. The opening is planned for 2013.

The competition was divided into two phases. 188 offices submitted their designs for the first phase anonymously out of which five were chosen to continue in the second phase. In addition four further offices were invited to contribute, among these were Xaveer De Geyter from Belgium, Foreign Office Architects from the UK and Ada Karmi Architects from Israel. A honourable mention was further given to Marazzi Architetti from Parma, Italy.

Abstract of the jurys statement: The Jury declared that the winners responded most effectively to the divided site and proposed aunified and cohesive campus which optimizes the qualities of the site and successfullyintegrates indoor and outdoor spaces. The design responded sensitively to the historical contextand as such connects to the surrounding area, interpreting effectively the traditional Jerusalemelements of courts, gardens, roofscape and screen facades.  The design most successfullyplaces facilities accessible to Bezalel and the public, and most effectively interprets the missionand vision of Bezalel.

The Jury was composed of the following members: Toshiko Mori (Professor in Practice and Chair, Department of Architecture, Graduate Institute of Design, Harvard University), Moshe Safdie (Architect Boston, Jerusalem), Arnon Zuckermann (President of Bezalel Academy), Zvi Efrat (Head of the Department of Architecture, Bezalel Academy), Hanoch Gutfreund (former President of the HebrewUniversity, Jerusalem), and Iftah Poran, a Bezalel student.