The Library building

History and Architecture

The library building is located at the central square of the University Campus

The Library building was designed in 1958 by the architects Shulamit and Michael Nadler in collaboration with their partner, Shmuel Bixon.

The building was inaugurated in 1968, and the architects were awarded the Rokach prize for their achievement.

The Sourasky Library was designed as a single structure.
In 1984 a second building was constructed adjacent to the first one, bearing similar outlines – The Gruss building.

 

The raw concrete building, with its dramatic, impressive presence on campus, has become one of the most well-known symbols of the brutalist architecture school of thought, which uses readily available, plain building materials, retaining their raw, uneven texture.

At the same time, the building's elegance and flow marked a subtle departure from the stringent conventions of brutalist architectural design.

 The Library Model and Programs

The building is located at the central part of the campus plaza and measures approximately 12,600 square meters. 
It is designed as a sealed tank in which the reading and study halls all face an inner private garden.

 

 

The idea of designing the library building as a central compound facing inward is based on traditional Middle-Eastern construction principles by which buildings  are protected from the strong sunlight and  harsh weather conditions prevalent in the region.

This concept helped  provide an  atmosphere of serenity throughout the study halls allowing students and faculty members to concentrate on their work while at the library.

The idea of designing the library building as a central compound facing inward is based on  

traditional Middle-Eastern construction principles by which buildings are

protected from the strong sunlight and harsh weather conditions prevalent in the region.

 

This concept helped provide an atmosphere of serenity throughout the study halls allowing

students and staff to concentrate on their work while at the library.

 

The internal design connects the  inner work and supply sections directly to the

reading halls on the upper floors.  Hence the library was built

as a structure made of chiseled concrete hovering over the stone built ground floor.

 

The ground floor is part of a terrace pattern integrating the surrounding land slopes

into the overall landscape design of the campus.

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Building section

 

The various functions inside the building are all arranged in a continuous open space environment.

The ground floor entrance opens into a large lobby with sofas and chairs allowing for quiet study and conversation.
The lobby, which often hosts changing exhibitions, leads to an entrance ramp to the other library sections:  the reference and circulation departments, the undergraduate (Limudit) sub-library, and the two reading floors.

Going up to the reading floors the visitor may enjoy a relaxing view of the inner garden as well as the lawns and campus buildings surrounding the library.

The entire western wall of the lobby is decorated with the spectacular mural "Return to Zion",  painted in 1976 by  Avraham Ofek. The painting tells the story of new immigrants on their way to Israel through the eyes of the artist.


​Avraham Ofek (August 14, 1935 – January 14, 1990) an Israeli sculptor, muralist, painter and printmaker.


​Avraham Ofek 's mural painting                    ​Avraham Ofek 's mural painting
 

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