Tel Aviv University is aiming to maximize its green space with a dynamic new building expected in 2019. The Lorry Lokey building will enrich the 200-acre campus with gardens and outdoor social hubs, a green roof, mountainous views of the western vista, and natural ventilation from the Mediterranean sea breeze. Designed by Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture, the most interesting aspect of this split level building will be its outdoor ground floor - a lush green welcoming space for students.
The split level design of the Lorry Lokey building integrates nature in a number of inventive ways. As the outdoor ‘ground floor’ serves as a shaded, verdant connection hub between buildings, this open plan will also maximize ventilation from Mediterranean prevailing winds. As cool air currents enter the ground level they will pass through the raised mass and up its internal patios, creating a natural cooling effect.
While the upper floors of Lorry Lokey will house offices with mountainous views, the lower floors will be reserved for large classrooms, the auditorium, and additional study spaces accessible from both the landscaped ground floor and gardens. The lush ground level will serve as an interconnection between adjacent buildings, a meeting hub and “watering hole,” boasting a café/canteen for the entire campus to utilize. This integration of the landscape not only reduces the overall massing of the building, but also encourages students to be more in touch with their natural surroundings.
Beneath the ground floor will be two partially underground levels that are completely thermally insulated and filled with the natural light from sunken courtyards and skylights. The strategically low position of these floors prevents harsh direct sunlight from entering the building. When some air conditioning is required in Israel’s most hot and humid summer months, a large field of solar panels on the green roof will help to compensate for those energy needs.
Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture plans to complete the Lorry Lokey building by 2019.