The proposed site affronts the main campus green and is adjacent to the existing Katz Library. We have focused the new addition directly onto the green. We have connected the addition to the existing library with a modest enclosed corridor to allow each building to retain its individual identity. To create a strong connection to the green, which serves as a symbol of unity for both the campus and reinforces the mission of the HHRC, we have proposed that a monument be erected at its center. This monument would be designed as a public work of art around the theme of tolerance and be a gathering point for diverse groups of people. The monument is represented in the proposed plans as the Tree of Tolerance.
The axis drawn directly from this monument to the point of arrival at University Drive’s southern approach organizes the main building components. The primary approach to the building from the campus green and the main lobby are both on this axis. The collective spaces within the building, notably the exhibition room and future multi-purpose room, are also organized by a secondary axis, slightly shifted to the east, but focusing to the monument at the center of the green. The remainder of the program is organized in a simple straightforward rectangular building that follows the existing contours and provides generous views from the main circulation spine to the green.
The resulting building masses are organized in two parts. The primary body of the building that is oriented east/west contains the classrooms, computer lab, lobby, and support spaces. This portion is built of bricks and glass to match the adjacent campus buildings. The secondary building component is oriented north/south and contains the exhibition space and future multi-purpose room. This building element is made of smooth light stone and glass, which sets it up as a compositional counterpart. Each component is viewed as an open hand, one with palm facing down, and the other with palm facing up. The hands join, as two people embracing, while each retains its own identity.
The expansive glass wall of the building’s main elevation facing the green will also be a graphic timeline of world Jewish population from the Exodus to the present and beyond up to the year 2440. This will be an artistic illustration etched into the glass that shows parallel changes in Jewish population by region, spanning 3840 years. It is intended that this will be educational and impactful through its tangible physical expression.
The multi-purpose room, programmed as future expansion, is the only two story high volume proposed in the HHRC. It marks both one’s arrival to campus from the South Campus Drive and brings light in to the room through its clerestory windows, which will bathe the space with soft natural Northern light.