Academy of the Hebrew Language


In Progress

Nestled between the Israel Museum, the Israeli Supreme Court, the future site of the National Library, the Knesset, and the Hebrew University, the design offers a fluidity of perspectives and connections between the Academy and its rich surroundings.

In plan, it reacts to the curve of Stephan Weiz Street while it transforms in three dimensions to the rectilinear shapes of the Jerusalem Botanic Gardens, and National Library beyond. The value of its innovative design lies in its elevation and the creation of a public park connecting the surrounding grounds. The landscaped rooftop becomes a natural extension of the surrounding park, filled with indigenous plants and multi-leveled green roofs. From the distance, the design looks like a large sculpture in the center of the park, undulating in all directions.   

The design offers two major access points: the north plaza and the south plaza. From each plaza the form allows visitors to ascend from the ground to two vantage points offering captivating views of the surrounding district. The building’s form, like language itself, becomes an important function in connecting a diverse group of visitors and citizens alike.

The Academy was designed with sustainability at top of mind. The design incorporates key sustainability solutions such as shaded outdoor terraces, low water plantings, rainwater collection, and reduced heat island effect. These are most evident in the pocket garden and small inner courtyards which bring natural diffused light to the interior of the building. There is also a solar shading system on the exteriors that controls heat gain and energy consumption. 

Location: Jerusalem, Israel


Size: SF

Team: Eran Chen, Michael Unsicker, Matt Boker