National Library Of Israel2012
Jerusalem, Israel450000 sf
The proposal for the new building of the National Library of Israel is a transformative experience filled with symbolic, historic, and humanist meaning. One enters the National Library at the entry plaza, from which the main idea unfolds sequentially through 3 zones of the Library — the Peace Passage, Star Square, and the Heritage Hall.
The Peace passage is the story of the daily life and in between, flexible spaces, a place of random events, the place where all roads converge in the Universal Gathering.
The Star Square is a public exterior space, animated by quiet and social congregating spaces, the resting space before the doors to the “Hall of Heritage” open. Here, the story progresses to Universal Unity, using the sphere, a symbolic universal reference, which is the structural and unifying canopy. The surface of the sphere is geometrically composed of the hexagon and pentagon. The symbolic story of the proposed spherical structure (our dome) begins with these 2 geometries. The domes, reminiscent of the hills of Jerusalem, echo the local context and architecture within a universal message. The roof shelter is composed of the unity of 3 symbols – the Jewish Star of David, the Islamic Star (of the Star and Crescent) and the Christian Cross. If one of the 3 elements is removed, the structure will fail. They rely on each other for beauty and survival.
The Heritage Hall is the treasure of the complex. The roof shelter changes to a corrugated vaulted shell that is punctuated by openings in the shape of “Leaves from the Olive Tree”, the National Tree of Israel. A symbol for peace is chosen as the source of light and shadow. The experience is of one sitting beneath the shade and protection of an olive tree, reading a book.