Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at the IDC Herzliya is situated in the northeast corner of campus on a flat site in a small Mediterranean coastal city near Tel Aviv. The upper floors are open and transparent, looking directly out and over the university foliage while the lower floors relate more intimately to the scale of the immediate campus gardens. Students enter the building through an 8 meter high arcade.
The building is home to a first-of-its-kind institution in Israel dedicated to the study and support of entrepreneurship.
At the ground floor, a public lobby and student lounge doubles as a gallery space for exhibitions highlighting the “Startup Nation”, a term coined to describe Israel’s disproportionately high number of entrepreneurship ventures. Directly accessible from this double-height space are a 165-seat lecture hall, a refreshment kiosk, the school’s administrative offices and a glass-encased conference room for the most important meetings and presentations.
Above the more public lower floors are 3 floors of specialized classrooms, accelerator spaces, staff offices, meeting rooms and support facilities.
The architecture of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship embodies the spirit of innovation and transformative thinking, central to its mission. The plan is efficient and modular with tall spaces designed to be conveniently reconfigured to support a variety of teaching environments. The building is an extended metaphor for the entrepreneurial mindset - clear, straightforward, no frills while simultaneously assertive, dynamic, passionately creative and humane.
One special department in the school is the media innovation laboratories or “miLabs”. This department conducts research and instruction in new media, software design, robotics, technology and human-computer interactions. Their open space lab accommodates both frontal and group learning while support spaces at the periphery allow for both intensive individual/small group research and wet/dry workshops to build state-of-the-art prototypes. Because the activities of this lab have a certain performative quality, the spaces are united with large acoustic glass walls that nurture an atmosphere of enthusiasm and collective creativity.
The architects’ design of the building promotes an idea that the school can be read as both a conceptual and literal factory for the production of creativity and collaborative pursuits. However, unlike a actual factory that deals strictly with the efficient processing of materials into useful objects, the raw materials of this school are people who want to work together collaboratively, efficiently and in a spirit of opportunity and inspiration.
The conceptual heart of the building is a continuous network of social spaces designed to encourage collaboration, networking and student-faculty interactions. These spaces are tied together by a suspended steel central staircase detailed with thin stainless steel cable mesh to maximize translucency.
The glazed west façade is protected with a series of vertical sun louvers that baffle the strong afternoon sun while both promoting views of the campus landscapes and allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the building. The design uses 50 identical vertical louver units made from painted steel and aluminum XPM mesh (by Italfim Ltd). Each louver unit is 16.5 meters high and 1.35 meters deep, spaced 75 cm apart. The architects strategically selected the appropriate mesh pattern and orientation thereby creating a simple smart filter for the sun light with the blades of the mesh turning slightly to the north. The mesh blocks the light coming from the southwest while permitting views straight on and to the northwest. A small amount of diffuse and reflected light still penetrates from the southwest giving the louver system a lightness and airiness.