Variety Center in Jerusalem

It is one of the largest centers in the world of habilitation of mentally and physically retarded children. It is one of the most complicated challenges to plan for an architect. The integration and the differentiation of various functions is extremely complex. The conceptual solution is based on a modular and articulated three dimensional assembling of octagonal volumes around octagonal patios of different sizes. It is a example of an open architecture “par excellence”. The proof to it is that it was possible to adapt a similar system in other planning of similar centers in the world. Our office was involved in such planning, apart Jerusalem, in Sparta, Cairo and Malta. The spiritual father of the project was Professor Alexander Russell, the most outstanding podiatrist of the XX century. The area of the Jerusalem project is of 10,000m2 with underground area for services and parking. The building process was finished on 1985. Since then the handicapped children are brought for consultation from all around the country and from abroad. The design principles include a lot of elements which stimulate positively the child’s perception and provide him a friendly environmental feeling. In this way the child feel at ease in the center, which facilitates the checking, activities and healing.  The Variety building has the most perfect stone work and details in the Holy City which is built all in stone.