HQ Architects & HWKN Architecture - Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance Ari Kushner Building, a unifying space to foster connections
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Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance Ari Kushner Building, a unifying space to foster connections

HQ Architects & HWKN Architecture

Education  /  Completed
HQ Architects & HWKN Architecture

The new building sought to confront a persistent programmatic flaw in the operation of this renowned international institute of performing arts: the campus lacked adequate performance spaces and a stage. HQ Architects positioned the new building adjacent to the original campus and greatly expanded the Academy’s ability to fulfill its mission. By adding new choreography, jazz studios, vocal and opera studios, and an 115-seat music recital hall, the vision can now be fulfilled. HQ Architects’ building design creates a smooth coexistence within the existing campus and provides spaces that respond to the diverse uses and requirements of the Academy. HWKN’s elegant, playful, stone façade extends across the entire complex, giving it a sense of unity and a contemporary, welcoming identity.

A new building addition to the famed Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance that will serve as an Advanced Inter Arts Center. Located in Central Jerusalem, the campus is adjacent to key public buildings including the Parliament and the Israel Museum, among others. One of the challenges was to unite the three wings into one coherent complex. HQ Architects’ design solution opted to place the new building below the former and slightly to the right. This created a visual sense of a unified complex, fitting for an institution now housed under three different roofs. The addition of the new purpose built building to the existing campus provides adequate premises to fulfill its mission and a new exciting addition to the urban environment of a highly esteemed Jerusalem area.

The new façade at JAMD embodies an innovative approach to architecture that is subtly concealed within its design. This innovation lies in the strategic use of local materials, adding to its aesthetic appeal and aligns with sustainability principles. By utilizing locally sourced materials, we minimized the environmental impact associated with transportation and extraction, promoting regional craftsmanship and culture.

Furthermore, the solidity of the facade serves a dual purpose, acting as a shield against excessive sun gain, preventing the interior spaces from overheating, and reducing the reliance on energy-consuming cooling systems. This demonstrates a commitment to energy efficiency and a sustainable approach to building design.

The project received GreenCode Certificate Accreditation

HQ Architects have created a remarkable building extension that serves as a unifying space, fostering connections between individuals from diverse backgrounds through music and informal encounters. This is especially significant in Jerusalem, where promoting harmony and understanding among people of different religions and cultures is crucial. The lobby lies at the core of the design, functioning as a lively mixing chamber for all visitors. A prominent grand stair serves as a central focal point, fostering interaction and facilitating spontaneous connections. People from diverse backgrounds and disciplines converge here, engaging in conversations and sharing their love for music, dance, and creativity. With its deliberate inclusivity, the lobby design acts as a catalyst for forging relationships among individuals who might not have otherwise intersected.

HWKN designed the new building’s intricate façade to both deliver a strong aesthetic statement and offer an innovative design for cooling a building in the Middle East. The curtain wall over the building’s glass façade is comprised of an arrangement of Jerusalem stone blocks., which was the client’s single brief.

In addition to its social significance, the building extension is also environmentally conscious. By prioritizing the use of local materials, it pays homage to the region's cultural heritage, while showcasing a contextual approach to sustainability.

‘The Architects closely researched JAMD’s defined needs, the possible relationship of the new structure with existing buildings and most importantly, the deep essence of our institution, its highly diverse student population (ca. 800) and strong agenda of our cross-disciplinarian, multi-cultural and international collaborations.’ Prof. Yinam Leef Former President of the Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance 2012 – 2021


 Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance
 Music and Dance Academy
 2500 mq
 HQ Architects & HWKN Architecture
 HQ Architects Partner in Charge: Erez Ella \ Project architects: Ayelet Kamar-Erez, Martin Neiman, Rany Mahameed \ Creative Director: Keshet Rosenblum Team: Smadar Efrati, Ido Aziz, Isam Qaymari, Omer Gura, Gal Kelman, Liat Halbersberg, Ofer Bilik, Philip Stiebler, Dana Lieber || HWKN Partner in Charge: Matthias Hollwich Design Director: Robert May Project team: Marc Kushner, Kate Scott, Adam Hostetler, Egbert Miles Chu, Victor Barbalato, Brad Engelsman, Alberto Herzog, SJ Kwon, Todd, Shapiro
 1. Moshe Lavie-Rafael Bet Building Engineering 2. Eng. Zelio Diamandi Consulting for establishing buildings and land -Soil Engineers 3. Telsnik Yossi - plumbing consultant 4. A. Sher-Shalom Electrical Engineering 5. Meir Cohen, fire safety consultant, fire engineering and regulations expert 6. Eyal Kraus Road Engineering Ltd 7. Sde Goldstein Mord Landscape Architecture 8. Architect Gil Ornan, building envelope and aluminum consultant 9. Jean Berkowitz Consultants Engineers Ltd - Insulation and Water Proofing 10. LVC. Engineering Ltd - Vertical Traffic Solutions & Elevators 11. David Huja – Accoustic Consultants 12. Brasalvi Architects Ltd – Theater Consultants
 Dor Kedmi


HQ Architects is an international, award-winning practice founded in Tel Aviv in 2008 by Erez Ella that strives to question conventions and create culturally challenging buildings, spaces, and urban environments. Focusing on a strong pragmatic and programmatic approach, the practice combines innovative and high quality design with strong technical expertise, and spearheads the design and construction over many projects of various scales in Israel and internationally.
HWKN is an award-winning, New York-based, global architectural firm led by Matthias Hollwich, alongside partners Jessica Knobloch, Dorin Baul, Robert May, and Olga Snowden. Founded in 2008, HWKN partners with cities, developers, and entrepreneurial clients to maximize the impact and value of their development assets. The firm’s diverse portfolio includes buildings and neighborhoods alike, from retail spaces and popup-installations to residential and commercial schemes in the United States, Middle East, and Europe.


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