Location: Mount Carmel Haifa
Competition Entry : 1999
Client : City Public Library


The library is located on Mount Carmel and grows out of the mountain’s unique scenery.
The scenic experience produced by the library’s indoor spaces and outdoor areas will induce a sense of drama and calmness at the same time.

The pedestrian access route from the street to the square is via an open ramp.
On entering the site the visitor will first encounter the natural flora (oak trees, carob trees, medicinal plants and silvery boulders) on the site as well as the view of the port and the sea in the north, and that of the Lower Galilee mountains in the east.
Along the side of the hill there is a covered trellised promenade with benches overlooking a view of the surrounding landscape. At the far edge of the square there is an open amphitheater, facing the mountains, for outdoor performances.

The building was not conceived as a monument dealing in metaphoric symbolism; its role is to elicit in the visitor a spiritual experience, produced by the simplicity and the elegance of the place.

The entrance hall of the library is built as an atrium. It has an open view of all the library’s sections and a glass wall facing the square.
An elegant stairway connects the entrance hall to the reading rooms floor. This is the spot where visitors sense the continuity created between the library’s indoor space, the square and the distant view of the sea and mountains.

Although a contemporary library must be based upon the most advanced technological infrastructure, I believe it still should place the reader at the center of attention.

Unlike in most libraries, here there is no separation between the location of the readers and the location of the bookshelves in the reading rooms. The books constitute an outer layer that embraces the reader.




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