Entitled “Voices and its Echoes,” this major expansion to Bar-Ilan University gave visual form to the school’s essential quality: respect for the secular and the sacred. Apparent in the form of the building is the interrelation between the dynamics of knowledge and the unifying role of faith.
The building is made up of an “open book” perched on top of two horizontal walls like the spine of a book. The book-like form holds a 1000-seat auditorium, which is acoustically suitable for musical performances and lectures. The auditorium lighting permeates through a labyrinth of Hebrew letters that denote an ancient constellation of hierarchies. The interior spaces are a dynamic ensemble of intersecting volumes that create flexible spaces. The ground level can hold seminar and meeting rooms for more than 400 people and accommodate large group events.
For the 3,530 square meter/38,000 square foot convention center, which stands at a highly visible crossroads in the campus, the Studio worked with Ortam-Sahar ltd. The project was generously funded by Maurice Wohl.
The project was completed in 2005.
“Another bravura performance from Libeskind brings scale, humanity and sense of new possibilities to an otherwise workaday university campus. Clearly built to a budget, the building makes a virtue of stark surfaces and uncluttered interiors, and a simple programme—a convention centre—is imbued with enigma and a sense of the numinous.” —RIBA, Architects’ Journal, June 2006
2012 – The City of Ramat-Gan has included the Wohl Center to their first list of the Conservation Buildings Department
2006 – RIBA International Award