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National Library, Jerusalem

ARCHITECTURAL URBANISM

The entangled web of streets & alleys of Jerusalem forms a dense urban fabric. Within this fabric multiple narratives coexist. When we walk in the city we are cutting a section through the endless layers of histories, myths & memories that forms its flesh. All these texts are avenues to be explored, spaces to be discovered. The depth of the city is endless and so are the options to move within it. When a path is chosen a new text is being written into the city. We follow narratives while cutting through others and adding our own. It is a constant state of flux. This quality is central to the multi-layered experience that 'Jerusalem' stands for as a physical place as well as a cultural cornerstone to the human civilisation.

 

Our proposal explores this fundamental attribute of Jerusalem as an architectural brief for the new library. Like the city it self, a library can not be perceived as an object but as a network of multilayered readings. Therefore the scheme we have developed is aiming at a controlled state of flux; a library that offers the visitor a dynamic experience of discovery and a sense of being part of a great culture.

 

The scheme is using urban mechanisms to deliberately dissolve the difference between building and city. While its form is deeply rooted and derived out of the specific conditions of the sites topography, its open structure is urban. For the national library of Israel we propose a fabric that unites content with experience.  It acts simultaneously as a series of differentiated rooms and as a whole system of linked destinations, where independent and contradictory programs can take place together by means of a defined layout. The building is understood and arranged as if it were a bigger scale, laying out corridors as If they were paths, ramps as if they were streets, patios as if they were piazzas & stepped platforms as if they were terraces. The experience of spatial exploration through this configuration resembles the experience of drifting through the city and is accompanied by a constant sense of discovery.

 

As traditional urban fabrics, an understandable order is needed to make possible an efficient space. The design seeks to clarify orientation by the use of voids and visually connected spaces that accompany movement and shift from parallel to transversal orientations.

 

Users will be invited in to wander via the building and become immersed in its unique urban ambiance. On their path they will encounter a variety of spaces containing plenitude of possibilities, programs, visitors and texts. The accessibility on the one hand and the clarity of orientation on the other will turn a visit to the national library of Israel into a cultural sensation that is addressing & available to all.

 

The diverse and fragmented fabric is clarified by a coherent system of orientation & unified by the envelope. The result is an iconic building - a symbol for the city of Jerusalem and for the immense body of knowledge of the national library of Israel.

 

CULTURAL SCAPE

Library as a diverse field

Programs listed in the competition brief are translated to spatial conditions as shape, size, height, and located depending on their affinities and accessibility needs.  Thus, an abstract layout of intensities is set to be contrasted. Considering the functions in terms of accessibility, intimacy and connectivity allows the proposal to maximize the efficiency of each program in the over all layout.

 

INFRASTRUCTURAL ARCHITECTURE

Library as a deployed topography

The plot is virtually defined by the urban plan in its shape, but its physical condition is set by topography. As an abstract volume the plot could be shaped by means of a ruled surface, but ruled surfaces are difficult to use and therefore inefficient. Terraces have been used traditionally to cultivate sloped landwhile keeping its character. The proposal aims to preserve the ruled character of the plot while facilitating surfaces for required uses to take place. The result is a continuous topography made of linked terraces where uses are layered in and a new landscape is deployed as the ground floor for the library.

 

DISTORTED GRID

Library as a projected scheme

The proposal seeks precise & functional relations between the different spaces while maintaining a flexible scheme that is able to shift over time to suit program requirements. This is achieved via the deployment of a matrix consisting in 4 stripes that is sponged by patios and adapted to the plot. The matrix is growing wider to the north and elongated when approaching the narrow edge to the south, thus intensifying the focus on the Public Square & entrance.

 

RELATED NATURES

Library as a stacked mountain

The competition brief clearly establishes different categories related not only to a different use, by most of all to a different way of using the building. These categories are arranged along the vertical axis of the section. A more static library where objects are shelved floats freely over a more dynamic topography where objects are exhibited. Bellow them a precise engine makes possible their function. A technical foundation supporting a flexible topography on which a light body lifts.

 

DIALOGUING FACADES

Library as an active boundary

The plot considered clearly shows four different edges, each of them having a particular nature. However, a united & iconic image is desired to make them all recognisable from any view as parts of a larger whole. The proposal sets 4 different geometrical strategies in order to achieve a variety of intensities in the façade. Each face reacts to the relevant context & program while maintaining the clarity of a single language that is unifying the whole building. To the south edge, the building faces a public plaza that is continued into its interior seamlessly to form the entrance. To Rupin Street, the building emphasises the entrances from the street to the building and to the inner patio by means of a double distortion of the façade alignment – allowing the exhibition stripe that is aligned with the street to function independently, enforces the goal of converting the street into a main cultural boulevard .To Kaplan Street, a more 'institutional' image is given by a serial rhythm that is accentuated by the widening of the sidewalk inside the building.

To the north edge, the building takes advantage of the high change in the levels to shape a saw slope that shares a straight edge while meeting the building with a stepped boundary.

 

 

7         ROOF FACADE

Library as landmark

The “genus loci” of the site is understood as a steeped topography occupied by cultural uses reflecting the essence of Jerusalem.

Jerusalemambience is strongly characterized by the use of the traditional stone found in its surroundings. Accordingly it is set as the main material for a building that should be taken as a window to its history.

The strong presence of the stone is thus enhanced by its use for the ruled roof that is visible from many angles and therefore completes the iconic image of the library as a unified whole.

 

8         STONE LATTICE

Library as an all times construction

Stone has being a traditional material for building in human history and so it does in Jerusalem. Lattices have being a traditional mechanism in Local history for controlling ambience conditions. Patterns have being traditional distributions in human history to embellish surfaces.

Traditional materials can be used in traditional mechanisms in a novelty way when their patterns are not fixed to a constant rhythm.

The proposal uses traditional stone into a traditional configuration of a lattice as outer skin but allows its pattern not to be fixed my means of the rotation of their elements.

 

9         INNER OUTSIDES

Library as a diffuse limit

As in traditional architecture of the area our proposed fabric for the library makes use of external conditions by way of inclusion. These in-closed open spaces serve as patios that besides acting like light & air sources they serve as orientation poles in the overall configuration. The result is a built environment where the event of the outside and the inside merging together is used to create and spatial reference point.

 

10     FIGURATIVE VALUES

Library as an icon for Jerusalem

The diverse and fragmented fabric is clarified by a coherent system of orientation & unified by the envelope. The result is an iconic building - a symbol for the city of Jerusalem and for the immense body of knowledge of the national library of Israel.

 

 

ARCHITECTURAL URBANISM

The entangled web of streets & alleys of Jerusalem forms a dense urban fabric. Within this fabric multiple narratives coexist. When we walk in the city we are cutting a section through the endless layers of histories, myths & memories that forms its flesh. All these texts are avenues to be explored, spaces to be discovered. The depth of the city is endless and so are the options to move within it. When a path is chosen a new text is being written into the city. We follow narratives while cutting through others and adding our own. It is a constant state of flux. This quality is central to the multi-layered experience that 'Jerusalem' stands for as a physical place as well as a cultural cornerstone to the human civilisation.

 

Our proposal explores this fundamental attribute of Jerusalem as an architectural brief for the new library. Like the city it self, a library can not be perceived as an object but as a network of multilayered readings. Therefore the scheme we have developed is aiming at a controlled state of flux; a library that offers the visitor a dynamic experience of discovery and a sense of being part of a great culture.

 

The scheme is using urban mechanisms to deliberately dissolve the difference between building and city. While its form is deeply rooted and derived out of the specific conditions of the sites topography, its open structure is urban. For the national library of Israel we propose a fabric that unites content with experience.  It acts simultaneously as a series of differentiated rooms and as a whole system of linked destinations, where independent and contradictory programs can take place together by means of a defined layout. The building is understood and arranged as if it were a bigger scale, laying out corridors as If they were paths, ramps as if they were streets, patios as if they were piazzas & stepped platforms as if they were terraces. The experience of spatial exploration through this configuration resembles the experience of drifting through the city and is accompanied by a constant sense of discovery.

 

As traditional urban fabrics, an understandable order is needed to make possible an efficient space. The design seeks to clarify orientation by the use of voids and visually connected spaces that accompany movement and shift from parallel to transversal orientations.

 

Users will be invited in to wander via the building and become immersed in its unique urban ambiance. On their path they will encounter a variety of spaces containing plenitude of possibilities, programs, visitors and texts. The accessibility on the one hand and the clarity of orientation on the other will turn a visit to the national library of Israel into a cultural sensation that is addressing & available to all.

 

The diverse and fragmented fabric is clarified by a coherent system of orientation & unified by the envelope. The result is an iconic building - a symbol for the city of Jerusalem and for the immense body of knowledge of the national library of Israel.

 

CULTURAL SCAPE

Library as a diverse field

Programs listed in the competition brief are translated to spatial conditions as shape, size, height, and located depending on their affinities and accessibility needs.  Thus, an abstract layout of intensities is set to be contrasted. Considering the functions in terms of accessibility, intimacy and connectivity allows the proposal to maximize the efficiency of each program in the over all layout.

 

INFRASTRUCTURAL ARCHITECTURE

Library as a deployed topography

The plot is virtually defined by the urban plan in its shape, but its physical condition is set by topography. As an abstract volume the plot could be shaped by means of a ruled surface, but ruled surfaces are difficult to use and therefore inefficient. Terraces have been used traditionally to cultivate sloped landwhile keeping its character. The proposal aims to preserve the ruled character of the plot while facilitating surfaces for required uses to take place. The result is a continuous topography made of linked terraces where uses are layered in and a new landscape is deployed as the ground floor for the library.

 

DISTORTED GRID

Library as a projected scheme

The proposal seeks precise & functional relations between the different spaces while maintaining a flexible scheme that is able to shift over time to suit program requirements. This is achieved via the deployment of a matrix consisting in 4 stripes that is sponged by patios and adapted to the plot. The matrix is growing wider to the north and elongated when approaching the narrow edge to the south, thus intensifying the focus on the Public Square & entrance.

 

RELATED NATURES

Library as a stacked mountain

The competition brief clearly establishes different categories related not only to a different use, by most of all to a different way of using the building. These categories are arranged along the vertical axis of the section. A more static library where objects are shelved floats freely over a more dynamic topography where objects are exhibited. Bellow them a precise engine makes possible their function. A technical foundation supporting a flexible topography on which a light body lifts.

 

DIALOGUING FACADES

Library as an active boundary

The plot considered clearly shows four different edges, each of them having a particular nature. However, a united & iconic image is desired to make them all recognisable from any view as parts of a larger whole. The proposal sets 4 different geometrical strategies in order to achieve a variety of intensities in the façade. Each face reacts to the relevant context & program while maintaining the clarity of a single language that is unifying the whole building. To the south edge, the building faces a public plaza that is continued into its interior seamlessly to form the entrance. To Rupin Street, the building emphasises the entrances from the street to the building and to the inner patio by means of a double distortion of the façade alignment – allowing the exhibition stripe that is aligned with the street to function independently, enforces the goal of converting the street into a main cultural boulevard .To Kaplan Street, a more 'institutional' image is given by a serial rhythm that is accentuated by the widening of the sidewalk inside the building.

To the north edge, the building takes advantage of the high change in the levels to shape a saw slope that shares a straight edge while meeting the building with a stepped boundary.

 

 

7         ROOF FACADE

Library as landmark

The “genus loci” of the site is understood as a steeped topography occupied by cultural uses reflecting the essence of Jerusalem.

Jerusalemambience is strongly characterized by the use of the traditional stone found in its surroundings. Accordingly it is set as the main material for a building that should be taken as a window to its history.

The strong presence of the stone is thus enhanced by its use for the ruled roof that is visible from many angles and therefore completes the iconic image of the library as a unified whole.

 

8         STONE LATTICE

Library as an all times construction

Stone has being a traditional material for building in human history and so it does in Jerusalem. Lattices have being a traditional mechanism in Local history for controlling ambience conditions. Patterns have being traditional distributions in human history to embellish surfaces.

Traditional materials can be used in traditional mechanisms in a novelty way when their patterns are not fixed to a constant rhythm.

The proposal uses traditional stone into a traditional configuration of a lattice as outer skin but allows its pattern not to be fixed my means of the rotation of their elements.

 

9         INNER OUTSIDES

Library as a diffuse limit

As in traditional architecture of the area our proposed fabric for the library makes use of external conditions by way of inclusion. These in-closed open spaces serve as patios that besides acting like light & air sources they serve as orientation poles in the overall configuration. The result is a built environment where the event of the outside and the inside merging together is used to create and spatial reference point.

 

10     FIGURATIVE VALUES

Library as an icon for Jerusalem

The diverse and fragmented fabric is clarified by a coherent system of orientation & unified by the envelope. The result is an iconic building - a symbol for the city of Jerusalem and for the immense body of knowledge of the national library of Israel.

 
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