Younes & Sorarya Nazarian Library, Haifa University

by | Jun 3, 2021 | Architecture, Architecture - Interior Design

Haifa, Israel

A.Lerman Architects Ltd.

Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, 2021-05-03  

This project is an intervention project in one of the most iconic sites of modernist Israeli architecture – the Oscar Niemeyer planned campus of the University of Haifa. The architecture competition asked for remodeling of existing library spaces and an addition to house office spaces, an auditorium, and new spaces for library collections. The scheme aimed at extracting the original intentions of the campus while updating its weaker moments. That was achieved by placing the new building under an existing parking lot and creating a new open space between it and the existing library. This open space offers new connections between the two parts, and its unique proportions allow for the evaluation of the linear intensity of the original design. The material strategy is also meant to amplify the qualities of the original by using updated concrete techniques and placing central elements such as circular concrete stairs as an homage to Niemeyer and his always contemporary approach. 

Photo credit: Amit Geron
Photo credit: Amit Geron
Photo credit: Amit Geron
Photo credit: Amit Geron
Photo credit: Amit Geron
Photo credit: Amit Geron

Brasilia on Mount Carmel, Z. Elhyani, Harretz: “A building that is not an object, devoid of any obvious form and without any facades, sits dug in, hidden, visible only from up close. As such, the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Library, designed by architect Asaf Lerman, is an architectural statement that is diametrically opposed to Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s monumental 1964 plan for the University of Haifa campus. Paradoxically, however, it is also a critical and intelligent architectural tribute that successfully takes on Niemeyer’s radical modernism, unlike the dozens of post-modernist structures that were heaped upon the campus through the years, irreversibly undermining its original qualities.”

Technical Sheet

Client: Haifa university.
Size: New wing – 5,000 M2, Renovation – 3,000 M2
Location: Haifa, Israel

Principal architect: Asaf Lerman
Project architects; phase 1: Lev Konikov, phase 2: Nimrod Schenkelbach
Photo credit: Amit Geron

About A.Lerman architects

A. Lerman Architects is situated in the south of Tel Aviv in a locksmith workshop turned into an architectural studio. The practice was established in 2006 by Asaf Lerman, an Architectural Association graduate. Their portfolio consists entirely of public projects & Asaf is a well-known spokesman for civic rights in face of the rapidly privatized world we all live in. The team-style working methodology is based on a careful analysis of the site and the mapping of its various contexts. They view the design process as a system with parameters that need to be articulated and prioritized. Once presented clearly, these parameters enable them to precisely design the effects of architecture over specific layers of the mapped context. This unique working methodology has led them, through architectural competitions, to design some of Israel’s most renowned public buildings. Central to their portfolio is a series of architectural interventions into iconic buildings in Israel aimed at a re-activation of their public interphase and modern promise.

Photo credit: Amit Geron

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