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Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies

Jerusalem, Israel

The Institute campus is designed as a linear building comprised of two wings that join on the eastern edge of the site and open up towards the west. The northern wing extends along a retaining wall which acts as the seam between the Israel Museum and the campus whereas the opposite wing curves along the public street on the southern edge. A verdant sloping garden, the green valley, traverses the entire site, separating the more public functions located along the street from the private ones located to the rear.

The program of the Institute includes classrooms and faculty offices, a library, a synagogue, student facilities, a cafeteria and a Beit Midrash.

The main entrance bisects the Institute and hovers above the green valley below. This bridge extends from the entry and links the different functions. On the northern side, it leads to the classrooms and faculty offices; on the southern side, it houses the library, the Beit Midrash and the synagogue. The library faces onto the garden and envelops the synagogue and the Beit Midrash, emphasizing the multi-layered connections between these realms. The 'green valley' mediates between the quiet parts of the campus and the more open ended ones by the cafeteria and the amphitheater. It is an open foyer that offers access to all parts of the buildings and acts as a meeting place for all its different moods.

Created by Lior Mark