Academy of Advanced Studies Van-Leer Israel – design by Chyutin Architects

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The Van-Leer Institute

Design: Chyutin Architects

The Polonsky Academy of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Polonsky Academy building is situated on the cliff facing south towards the Jerusalem Theater. Its northern side faces the Main Garden Court which will function as the heart of the campus in the new master plan. This court has two levels, with a one storey differential between them which makes it possible to create two entrances to the structure on different levels: main entrance near the Van Leer Institute and secondary entrance near the Council for Higher Education.

The low horizontal appearance of the Polonsky Academy building fits in with the dimensions and design characteristics of the existing buildings with their closed stone fronts to the city and glass fronts facing the open inner garden. Other building materials to be used are exposed concrete and wood slats. The design of the building elevation is keeping with the modernistic spirit of the existing buildings.

The Polonsky Academy building contains three functions: its main activity is the Polonsky Institute for Research, to which are added the central cafeteria and the central library. Its all-campus utility emphasizes the future centrality of the building on the campus. Adjacent to the building will be the burrowed auditorium, to be constructed at a later stage.

The two upper stories of the building are intended for research activity and include rooms for researchers, seminars and other meeting spaces for the research population that are open onto and are lighted from internal courts. The lower research floor is the main entrance to the building from the direction of the Van Leer Institute and it includes an exhibition gallery facing the Main Garden court. The floor below is entered through the lower level of the Main Garden Court and it includes a conference room, a lecture hall and the upper level of the library and the cafeteria which is facing the main garden. The descending sloping topographical conditions on the south side of the building make it possible to situate the library which faces the internal garden adjacent and from which the city can be seen from afar. Similarly, the adjacent auditorium lobby also faces the garden of the ascending Terrace Pass and the city view from afar. By opening the lobby onto the urban part it is possible to use it for external purposes, independent of the Institute’s activities.

The Polonsky Academy of Advanced Studies images / information from Chyutin Architects

Source: Chyutin Architects/
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