The shifting opportunities of this public space are translated into a fluid program of form and function in the design. Architects Ifat Finkelman and Deborah Warschawski sculpt the entrance of the Youth Wing for Art Education at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Introducing a hint of childhood nostalgia, they articulate an array of possibilities and interpretations through a choreography of planes and ideas. From the undulating play surfaces to the modern tree house, this project brings a touch of organic relief amid the largely stone and concrete courtyard.
Located at the entrance to the Youth Wing, the courtyard is a primary assembly space for adults and children alike; the design therefore deftly bridges mature sensibilities and demands with the unbridled imagination of children. Wrapped around an existing pine tree that visually anchors the space and scheme, the program evolves as a folding and unfolding of a singular structural element. Constructed of Ipea boards affixed to a light steel skeleton, the surfaces open up to offer passages for transition and play; drawing closer as they spiral around the tree, they come together to enclose an open-ended volume – a quintessentially modern tree house.
The ground surface is cloaked in soft EPDM rubber flooring that conceals the extensive root system and makes the area ideal for children and animated playtime.