MVRDV has started work on its first project in Israel, a residential project near the old city in Jerusalem for EVEN Israel Residence by Nachum Rosenberger. Designed in cooperation with StudioMIA, the project will consist of public space, dwellings of various sizes, commercial areas, and a short-stay hotel. It deals with a complex site, the need for densification, heritage buildings, and local context while aiming to set a new standard in housing.
The site, located between the busy Keren HaYesod Street and the calm and quaint Sokolov Garden, is currently used as a parking lot and includes the ruins of the former President Hotel. The project will contribute to addressing Jerusalem’s housing shortage, with this particular location ideally suited for densification thanks to a new light rail line that will soon pass right in front of the site. It adds to a series of urban gems, including the King David Hotel and the YMCA, that extends from the old city towards the Talbiyah neighbourhood. The building’s upper floors will offer views towards the old city and as far as the Jordan valley.
MVRDV’s initial research, which was recently presented to the district committee, explored the creation of a three-dimensional addition to Talbiyah – a neighbourhood characterised by freestanding, well-ventilated urban villas from the 1930s, set in pleasant leafy surroundings. A sensitive approach towards adjoining heritage buildings is part of the project, as is the celebration of the urban quality of Talbiyah.
EVEN Israel CEO Nachum Rosenberger says: “With this project, we aim to bring new qualities to the housing market in Jerusalem and extend the bustling city life along Keren HaYesod Street.”
MVRDV’s founding partner Winy Maas explains: “Israel is currently doubling the number of dwellings nationwide, which often leads to repetition thanks to fast-paced construction. Our project for Nachum Rosenberger aims to add a new typology of densification that responds to the local context.”
The development of the site of the former President Hotel, located in the western part of the city, is MVRDV’s first project in the country. Last year the MVRDV Rotterdam Rooftop Catalogue project was shown at the Muslala Rooftop Festival in Jerusalem, showing how rooftop spaces can help cities such as Jerusalem deal with the housing crisis, add a cooling layer that mitigates the effects of the changing climate and resulting soaring temperatures, and help create spaces that accommodate all members of the population.
Main image: Jerusalem city model, with the President Hotel site shown centre-left.