Zarchy architects
Bezalel Academy for Art, Architecture and Design
Our proposal is concerned with two central issues: Urban strategy - How can we redefine relationships between public and private spheres in a metropolitan setting? Program - How can the role of art in society be reflected by architecture? What levels of meaning does a building modeled for an art academy sustain in the contemporary context? This project intends to perform in the grey area between architecture and urbanism.
The academy should act as a melting pot – one that enables artistic, intellectual and social relations between students, visitors and the public. We therefore define a building that is located both above and under ground, leaving the ground level free to serve as the new public domain. This pedestrian domain, encompassed by art from above and below, unites all surrounding activities.
The program is arranged according to "Temperature" and "Weight". "Cold" represents digital and technology based facilities, and "Warm" artisan and production oriented ones. The two hovering volumes contain the “Lighter” program, while the "Heavier", craft based departments, are situated in the plinth.
While a common design language is applied across the project, it is modulated to give each element a distinct character that reflects its function. Together with ARUP advanced geometry unit we developed a unique structural system that allows for large column-free spans, which also act as light wells and circulation elements.

35,000 sqm
Competition - Finalist.