Between academy and community:
The Science Oriented Youth building in Ben-Gurion University presents an exceptional opportunity to integrate the campus with the city of Beer-Sheva. The building, located at one edge of the campus and also next to Kreitman Square, presents an opportunity for a fertile connection between the community and the academy – a bond which is the conceptual base for a science oriented youth project.
The designed building frames the Kreitman Square from all four directions. The dialogue between the building and the square is a key element in the plan. The square’s tribunes “ascend” towards the building thus creating hundreds of elevated and shaded seats which could be used by the university in various events.
The building’s main entrance lobby is actually at square’s level, through which one can also access the informal study spaces. An additional entry is located at the lower level for the use of students arriving from the campus gate.
While the square’s tribunes rise towards the building, the square itself “glides” onto the building is a kind of artificial topography taking advantage of the differences between the existing levels thus creating pleasant and shaded places for seating and studying.
The roofed passage created between the building’s wings could be used by the students to pass from the entry gate to the larger parts in the campus. The controlled and fertile contact between the students studying in the building and the students just passing by its exterior areas is a key element in the plan.
The shaded exteriors and the open ground floor are a direct continuation of the construction typology of the first buildings on campus – typology of a shaded and open is best expressed in the adjacent Kreitman building, and it is optimal in the desert climate.