Migdalei Navon

Migdalei Navon 1 Migdalei Navon 2

Migdalei Navon – or “Wise Towers” in English – is another project being built downtown that seems to be anything but. Bafflingly referred to in the plural, Migdalei Navon is a singular building that will stand directly across from the trash processing center near Mahane Yehuda:

Trash Processing Station At The Shuk

The building’s blocky design is the product of Meir Nadlan HaIr Group. The tower will stand a total of eight storeys, with seven floors dedicated to apartment space and a ground floor for storefronts. The added retail space is surprising as the nearby Saidoff Tower has been unable to fill their own storefronts completely for years. Perhaps the planning committee has accounted for the future retail space needs of the area, but one wonders if the area – already home to Mahane Yehuda – isn’t being over-saturated.

Migdalei Navon 3

Migdalei Navon

Shalem Tower

Shalem Tower 1 Shalem Tower 2

The Shalem Tower is the newest construction start in downtown Jerusalem. The lot is the former site of a Delek gas station that became infeasible on Yafo Street when the light rail was completed and most automobile traffic was redirected to other parts of the city.

Aside from photos, there isn’t much more worth sharing about the project. The building will house luxury apartments and stands across the street from Mahane Yehuda. One notable feature is the covered sidewalk, which should provide shade in an otherwise exposed, sunny area.

Shalem Tower 3

Shalem Tower

New Mevaseret Zion Neighborhood

Mevaseret Zion Expansion

Mevaseret Yerushalayim and Maoz Zion, two townships inside the Mevaseret Zion suburb of Jerusalem separated by Highway 1, are going to be bridged together in a recently approved project by the Kolker Kolker Epstein architecture firm. The design will bring 265 housing units to the area, with 20% of the units set aside for smaller, more affordable apartments. The buildings will be multi-purpose, with retail space planned for street level.

Mevaseret Zion Expansion 1 Mevaseret Zion Expansion 2

An additional 20,000 sqm. commercial building is also planned, with 6,000 sqm. of retail space and 14,000 sqm. of office space.

Mevaseret Zion Highway 1

A transport terminal will serve local residents and a free 1000-car park-and-ride lot will be made available for those wishing to use public transportation through said terminal. Officials hope that the new terminal will aid in relieving traffic congestion into Jerusalem-proper.

Mevaseret Zion Expansion Map

No time frame has been given for the plan, however, it relies heavily on the completion of the section of Highway 1 on which it will stand.

New Mevaseret Zion Neighborhood

Beit HaLiba At The Western Wall Plaza

Courtesy of ynet
Courtesy: ynet

For the past few years, visitors to the Western Wall Plaza have been greeted by an enormous archaeological site. The excavation is famous for a ring that was found there which features the seal of Netanyahu Ben-Yoash. Plans for a large structure that will house and protect the site were recently revealed and they are close to approval.

Courtesy: ynet
Courtesy: ynet
Courtesy: ynet

Designed by Ada Karmi-Melamed Architects and championed by Deputy Mayor Kobi Kahlon, Beit HaLiba is a three-storey facility that is already facing a lot of opposition and will, no doubt, be a point of contention even after construction is completed. The building is broken down as follows:

The ground floor will open with a 136 sqm. lobby that leads to three classrooms and a 155-seat auditorium. The ‘Hall of Yearning’ will educate visitors about the history of the Western Wall and a “systems room” will occupy an additional 95-sqm. area.

The top floor will feature a library, 100-sqm. of office space, a learning center, a room for guides, a classroom and another 25-sqm. “systems room.”

The roof will serve as an observation deck and will be accessible from the Jewish Quarter (as opposed to exclusively from within the building).

Finally, the basement level will offer access to the archaeological site and to an old Roman road that leads to the Dung Gate.

Courtesy ynet
Courtesy: ynet

The building is expected to eat away at some 20-meters of plaza space and – as mentioned above – is already being met with fierce opposition from nearly every scope of the political spectrum.

Beit HaLiba At The Western Wall Plaza

Begin Highway Light Rail Bridge

Jerusalem Light Rail Bridge 1

Today Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat shared photos of a bridge that is being constructed above the Begin Highway. The 80-meter bridge will act as a fundamental link in the light rail line that will transport passengers from the Givat Ram campus to the Har HaTzofim campus of The Hebrew University. When completed, the bridge will have tracks for the train, a road for cars and a sidewalk for pedestrians.

Jerusalem Light Rail Bridge 4 Jerusalem Light Rail Bridge 3 Jerusalem Light Rail Bridge 6

Begin Highway Light Rail Bridge