Construction of the Jerusalem station for the future Jerusalem-Tel Aviv high-speed rail line is well under way. Located across from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, the HaUma Railway Station will feature 26,000 square meters of total floor space and – with its 80 meter deep construction – the largest underground bomb shelter in all of Israel, with the capacity to hold 5,000 people:
Even with a few years of construction left (estimated completion in 2018) ground level is already taking shape:
A new luxury hotel/residence is planned for Downtown Jerusalem. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the 35-storey tower will feature 25-floors of residential space, a 10-floor luxury hotel and a ground level shopping pavilion. Although the plans seem to be confirmed, information varies about the site and the design has since been removed from Libeskind’s website. In addition to the models above, a more practical take on the design can be seen here.
After some controversy, a budget reduction and a huge design change, the construction of the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem is well under way. The plan was designed by Chyutin Architects, based out of Tel Aviv. The building will be quite massive at 160,000 sq. feet, and will accommodate an exhibition space, a theater and educational center, as well as a garden and amphitheater outside. The budget is $100 million.
As of publication, the basement level is completely poured and covered, and construction on the ground level is moving along. There has been some debate about the efficiency of the building, as a completely glass facade in the back of the structure will allow for massive heat gains and losses during the summer and winter seasons, respectively.
As mentioned above, the original design was changed. Frank Gehry was meant to be the original architect of the structure. After the plan was revealed to be decidedly ‘Gehry’ and not very Jerusalem, the project was taken back to the drawing board. Despite concerns about the energy efficiency of the new plan, the style and conformity of downtown Jerusalem has been spared.
The plans for revitalizing the entrance to Jerusalem are rapidly unfolding. A pet project of Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, the municipality is hoping they will inspire hundreds of businesses to begin operating in Israel’s capital, creating thousands of new jobs.
The first part of the plan, The Chords Bridge, is a stark symbol of a new and modern Jerusalem. The light rail that runs across it is set to be expanded and different routes will be added for further integration. Currently under construction (with an expected completion date of 2018), the high speed train to Tel Aviv will allow for fast travel between the cities.
The second part of the plan will divert traffic on Sderot Shazar below ground and create thousands of underground parking spots for commuters.
Future developments include twelve skyscrapers. They will range from 24-33 stories tall and will include a combined 420,000 square meters of office space, 100,000 square meters of cultural space, 200,000 square meters of hotel space and 70,000 square meters of retail space.
The project represents a dramatic divergence from Jerusalem’s history and should shake up the Israeli public’s perception of the city.