Safra Square, Jerusalem (Israel)

The City’s Rooftop

The need to enhance the density of Jerusalem’s city center is leads to the aspiration to preserve the open public space. The design seeks to increase the required floor areas by using duplication of ground floor. This duplication is achieved by a wide public space that fluidly rises to create a green public roof. The public space also contains a varied of sub-areas which allows a range of activities, for diverse users – through all hours of the day (scheme 1).

Safra Square - serves as a spacial joint and meeting place between residents and visitors.    The plan calibrates to the surrounding pedestrian routes: from south – metro station, from north – court of justice and Bezalel, from east – Jaffa and Shlomzion St., from west – city hall. Main walking axes are situated between these routes (scheme 2).

Ground floor - of existing buildings that surround the square where converted to trade uses, coffee shops and restaurants (scheme 3)In the south corner of the square, near the metro station, a multi – functional tower is erected: this tower acts as a focal point which marks Safra square within Jerusalem’s skyline (scheme 4). This tower will include the rest of the required floor areas: in the lower floors – restaurant and shops, in the upper floors – Offices, residential and hotel.

Underground floor – beneath the square, will serve for cultural uses such as museum and the city design center. It’s ceiling creates a fifth façade for the square which reveals exhibits from the museum to the people on the ground floor. This “glimpse” invites and directs people to the visitor’s center that is located under the public green roof (scheme 5). From there one can enter the museum.

Visitors center rooftop – a wide public “balcony” with terraces that grow purifying vegetation. These are watered by greywater that come from the buildings in the complex.  The roof serves as a green rest area with a view to the square and as a lookout to the surrounding city, towards east, south and west (scheme 6).

Safra square is the main and major square of Jerusalem.With such position it befits to represent the diversity the city contains and it’s sanctity for the three religions. The combinations of the symbols of these religions are the under layer for the design of the square. At the cultural level of the square are located prayer spaces for each one (scheme 7).   



Program . public space
Client .
 Jerusalem municipality
Size . 
66,000 sq. meters

Status . completed 2018
Team . Izzy Michael, Yaniv Hatiel


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