Bezalel Academy's Board of Directors has accepted the Search Committee's recommendation for the design of the new Bezalel campus in Jerusalem's Russian compound. The Search Committee chaired by Hertzel Habas, Chairman of the Board of Governors at Bezalel, included Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, a past president of Hebrew University; Architect Orna Angel, member of Bezalel's Board of Governors; Yuval Yasky, head of the Bezalel Academy’s Architecture Department; and Professor Arnon Zuckerman, President of the Bezalel Academy. The Search Committee made its recommendation to the Board of Directors for a collaboration of the Japanese architecture firm, SANAA (Sejima & Nishizawa and Associates) and the Israeli firm, Nir Kutz Architects.
Studio SANAA, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2010, is considered one of the most innovative and creative architecture firms worldwide. Its leading architects – Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa – are key figures in the contemporary architectural discourse. Buildings they have designed include the Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne - an academic center that has acquired status as an architectural pearl, as well as the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan. Sejima was also chosen to be the architecture curator at the recent Venice Biennale.
Bezalel is exploring the possibility of building a somewhat smaller building in the Russian compound while using historic buildings in the area, thus creating a genuine urban change in the city center.