Youth Wing for Art Education Entrance Courtyard

The entrance courtyard of the Youth Wing for Art Education at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is a main gathering place for visitors- adults, children and groups- within its modern concrete- and-stone architectural surroundings.
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Nestled within the Israel Museum’s Art Education Entrance Courtyard, architects Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski present a creation that’s both iconic and nostalgic. Their design masterfully bridges the chasm between unbridled imagination and the constraints of architectural context.

At the heart of their project stands a majestic pine tree, serving not just as a natural beacon but also the conceptual anchor for the entire design. Drawing inspiration from the universal childhood dream of a treehouse, Finkelman and Warschawski have adorned the tree’s tilted trunk with a roofed alcove. This discreet nook allows children a hidden vantage point, from which they can peer out and absorb the artistic aura of the museum’s surroundings. Those eager to delve deeper into the architectural details can access the project’s blueprints here.

The treehouse, while a standalone marvel, is actually the culmination of a continuous, folded structure that winds its way through the courtyard, enabling an array of interactive opportunities. This is further accentuated by the construction methodology – a juxtaposition of slender 2 cm Ipea boards bound to a lightweight steel framework. This setup gradually introduces varying levels of transparency from the top down.

As this structure cascades to the ground, it seamlessly morphs into a playground. Here, seated areas map out a landscape cloaked in soft EPDM rubber, a thoughtful inclusion to cushion any unforeseen tumbles from the treehouse above. Simultaneously, this design cleverly conceals the vast root system beneath and the intricate underground infrastructure.

By day, the courtyard is a bustling hive of activity, but as dusk falls, a transformation occurs. Bathed in a soft glow, the treehouse becomes a luminescent jewel, seemingly suspended above the entrance, casting an enchanting spell on all who enter.

Architectural Design: & Deborah Warschawski
Photography by: Amit Geron

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