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Open University Campus, Raanana
Ada Karmi-Melamede and Dan Price

The campus of the Open University is situated at the northern edge of Ra'anana, on a wedge shaped site resulting from the junction of a Highway 4 and the local network of streets. Given this context, the scheme was developed as an introverted campus, leaning on the tradition of European University towns. The campus is a collection of buildings, each one designed around a courtyard, shaping a landscape unique unto itself. This was achieved by developing a master plan for phased construction over the full length of the site so that at any time there is a vision for the design of the campus in plan and section.


The structure is an internal street which begins at the high point of the site and descends into an urban square where all of the public functions of the University are concentrated. The second structure is a green park which flows down from the public square and terminates in an outdoor amphitheater. A tension is created between these extremities: the square is an enclosed urban form while the amphitheater is an open public space nestling within dense green vegetation. Between these two spaces is the Visitor's Center, placed at the point where the piazza meets the park. In this way, the Visitor's Center acts as the focal point of the square and demonstrates the ongoing changes of the University.


The campus includes a huge underground archive and storage facility, numerous auditoriums of various sizes, a library, visitor’s center, synagogue, dining hall and extensive office space. The buildings are finished in exposed concrete and limestone. The exterior facades are all exposed concrete since the primary reading is from afar. The carefully designed concrete formwork emphasize the play of light and shade. The internal facades of the courtyards, where students and staff can touch the building and where the building touches the ground, are clad in local limestone.


STATUS: Completed
SITE: Raanana, Israel

SIZE: 35,000 m²

CLIENT: Open University Israel

Design: Ada Karmi-Melamede and Dan Price

Project architect: Amit Nemlich

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