Jerusalem municipality approves Knesset expansion plans

Jerusalem announces plans to expand the Knesset, while focusing on keeping the old structure visible.

August 19, 2019 01:08
1 minute read.
Jerusalem municipality approves Knesset expansion plans

An illustration of the expanded Knesset building. (photo credit: PELLEG ARCHITECTS)

The Jerusalem Municipality’s Local Planning and Building Committee has approved plans to significantly expand the Knesset.

Designed by B. Pelleg Architects and Town Planners (1997) Ltd., the proposed expansion includes doubling the current floor space of the Knesset to 102,270 sq. m., while “maintaining the unique characteristics of the site.”

The additional space to the south of the existing Knesset building will be used to construct new bureaus for MKs, administrative offices, kitchens and dining rooms, committee rooms, bedrooms, and offices for the Central Elections Committee.

The municipality said the plan will include unique provisions to preserve the original, “architecturally unique” Knesset building, taking into account its “national and historical importance.” Provisions will primarily concern maintaining the visibility of the original structure, specifying height limits so that the newly constructed building does not conceal the current architecture.

The principles of design for the extension, the municipality added, will include a “carpet texture” that slopes over the topography, similar to extensions previously designed and built by architect Nahum Meltzer.

The extension will preserve the original entrance to the Knesset through the ceremonial Knesset plaza on the north side, but also add two new pedestrian entrances to the west and south of the building. The plan also provides for a vehicular entrance to the Knesset to the south-west of the building, adjacent to Sacher Park.

Previous projects built by Tel Aviv-based Pelleg Architects include the air traffic control tower constructed at Ben-Gurion Airport, three IKEA department stores, Sapir Tower in Ramat Gan, Vered Tower in Givatayim, and several Israeli embassies abroad.

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