Winning design for an educational campus

Public competition for an educational campus, Ma’ale Adumim, Israel

April 2023

Stern Thom Fehler Architects, in collaboration with Shmuel Nemet, won the first prize in an open public competition for a new educational campus in Ma’ale Adumim – a city located four kilometres east of Jerusalem on the ridge of a mountain at the edge of the Judean Desert.

The anonymous open competition was commissioned by the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing and the city council, and arranged by the Israeli Architects Association.  

The proposed campus spreads over a 12,600 hectares and comprises three senior schools for students ages 13-18, a graduate Yeshiva school with Beit Hamidrash, an open amphitheatre for 800 people, and a museum for Space and Aviation.

The project centralises the buildings on the northern side of the site, facing the proposed location of a future residential neighbourhood, and overlooks the surrounding desert landscape on the southern side. The public museum for Space and Aviation also faces the Judean desert, and its curved structure blends gently into the rugged topography, with its roof serving as an observation deck.

A central promenade is located along the ridge, providing walking and cycling paths, seating areas, grassy hills, sports facilities, water pools, and playgrounds. A series of curved elements along the south side of the promenade act as an interface between the new campus and the valley below, guiding its design and creating a clear and unique language for the project. The entire promenade faces the desert landscape and creates a new and unique encounter of the city with its environment.