In the first stage of the Competition, four Israeli architects were selected from among 81 participants in an anonymous process. The four continued to the second round, where they were joined by 8 invited architects – four Israelis and four from abroad.
The 12 participants in the second round submitted designs - architectural drawings and models - at the end of four intensive months of work. The international Jury panel gathered in Jerusalem to examine the proposals on an anonymous basis. Following meticulous examination and comprehensive discussion, the Jury selected three proposals, without ranking them, and invited the architects to present them in person and to respond to questions.
Following the presentations and another round of discussion, the Jury selected Israeli architect, Rafi Segal, as the Preferred Architect. Rafi Segal participated in the first stage of the competition and was among the four candidates selected to advance to the next stage. The architectural plans for the National Library building will be completed through intensive dialogue between the architect and the client. He will be declared the Winning Architect following the signing of a formal agreement.
At the close of the competition, Jury Chairman Professor Galiano remarked: ‘The proposal creates a positive dialogue with the Knesset, the Israel Museum and other public buildings in the vicinity. We found it to be modest yet original and unique. The Jury, whose members represent a range of cultures and disciplines, assessed each proposal thoroughly and engaged in thoughtful deliberations prior to reaching the decision’.
In connection with confirmation of the Preferred Architect by the Board of Directors of the National Library, Mr. David Blumberg, the Chairman of the Board stated: ‘The proposal reflects a deep understanding of the historical significance of the National Library; sensitivity to the special place of the Library in Jerusalem and will give expression to the needs of the Library in an era of social and technological transformation’.
Rafi Segal, who prepared the entry with the assistance of Yonatan Cohen and Matan Mayer, is a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Development at the Technion (BArch & Masters of Science) and a PhD from Princeton University. At the beginning of his career he worked with Zvi Hecker on the planning of the Palmach Museum in Tel Aviv, which received the Rokach Prize for Architecture from the Tel Aviv Municipality (2005). In 2001 he won the Zeev Rechter Prize for Young Architects from the Israel Association of Architects. He is currently engaged in architectural and urban planning in Israel and abroad and teaches Architecture at Harvard University and at Cooper Union in New York City.