Lee and Murray Kushner Family Building at Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance Breaks Ground

Lee and Murray Kushner Family Building at Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance Breaks Ground

Lee and Murray Kushner Family Building at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, designed by Hollwich Kushner and HQ Architects, recently broke ground. The new addition consists of various studios arranged around a central gathering space. The courtyard, flanked by the elevated roofs of the café and performance wing, is well insulated despite its location next to a busy thoroughfare.

The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance holds an essential place in the cultural history of the city. Initially established in 1933, the academy is both a school as well as a performance venue. The academy sought to confront a persistent programmatic flaw in its operation as a world-renowned and international institute of performing arts. While its curriculum is strong, the campus lacked a proper performance space or a stage of any kind.

The extension's facade consists of familiar natural stone blocks. Each stone is turned 45 degrees on its edge, its size varying according to the program behind. The most public programs become outlined through the gradients of transparency. By layering the solidity of the stone and the clarity of the glass, shadow and light animate the public spaces inside.

"Our design for the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance brings a new identity through a material as familiar as natural stone," commented Matthias Hollwich, Principal Hollwich Kushner. "The facade punctuates the interior of the center with shadow and light, creating an animated social area where the artists of tomorrow can meet, gather, and exchange."

The building is arranged around a central double space connecting the different rooms and spaces, providing the infrastructure and conditions for the interchange between different fields of dance and music, which is essential to the academy's success. Facilities inside include a music recital hall of 115 seats, a dance studio, jazz and improvised music studio of 90 seats, a vocal and opera studio of 60 places, and 14 practice and teaching chambers.

"We have designed high-end facilities that provide the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance with bespoke learning and performance spaces, as well as dynamic shared environments that enhance and promote the interaction of different disciplines in the building. This combination of spaces creates a sense of creativity happening all around," said Erez Ella, Founding Partner HQ Architects.

Interaction and cross-fertilization between disciplines are critical to the academy's student development. The new building exemplifies this by becoming an innovative hub for culture and exchange. The building serves teachers and students alike, providing an ingenious environment that supports the creativity of future, past, and presents musical talents.

Images: Courtesy of Hollwich Kushner and HQ Architects

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