Israel Museum Expansion

A Preservation and Expansion Of A Historical Museum.
Jerusalem, Israel
80,000 (sqm)
Expansion & Reorganisation

KSM was selected in 2007 to serve as landscape architects for the museum renewal project.

KSM acted as landscape architects as part of a comprehensive team of architects from New York and Israel. In June 24, 2007, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem launched a comprehensive $80-million project to renew, transform and unify the facilities on its landmark campus, with the goal of increasing accessibility to the Museum's collections and enhancing the overall visitor experience. The Museum continued operations throughout the construction period with a full schedule of exhibitions, public events, and educational programs held in its Weisbord Exhibition Pavilion, Shrine of the Book and Model of Second Temple Period Jerusalem Complex, Billy Rose Art Garden, and Ruth Youth Wing.

The design of the campus project was a joint initiative of James Carpenter Design Associates, New York, and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, Tel Aviv, with additional support by Lerman Architects and Town Planners, Tel Aviv, and KSM acting as landscape architects. The project was the most comprehensive initiative undertaken since the Museum opened in 1965 and was inspired first and foremost by the desire to enhance visitor services and facilities on a campus which had grown ten-fold over the past four decades.

The multi-year program created new entrance facilities, an enclosed route of passage from the front of the campus to a relocated main entrance hall with access to all of the Museum’s curatorial collection wings, reorganized and expanded collection galleries, and newly centralized temporary exhibition space. Overall, 80,000 square feet of new construction was added, and 200,000 square feet of gallery space was re-ordered, renewed, and expanded, largely within the Museum's existing 500,000-square-foot architectural envelope.

The Museum also concurrently worked with Pentagram Partners, London, to renew the Bronfman Archaeology Wing, planned to provide a narrative timeline of the archaeological history of the ancient Land of Israel. The Museum anticipated celebrating the staged completion of the project and complete reinstallation of its collection galleries in time for its 45th anniversary in May 2010.

"We entered an exciting period during which the Museum continued to operate in fresh and innovative ways for our public even as our campus underwent a process of transformational renewal, which defined the course for its future vitality," said James S. Snyder, the Museum's Anne and Jerome Fisher director. "We were grateful to the many friends from around the world whose commitment and support made this program possible, and to our local constituency whose dedication to the Museum and impressive engagement with our campus and ongoing program of exhibitions and activities were the impetus for this major undertaking."