The Open University Campus

A university enclave

The new campus of the Open University is situated at the outer edge of Ra'anana, on a wedge shaped site resulting from the junction of a regional highway and a residential street. Given this context, the scheme was developed as an introverted entity, a microcosm of the 'university town' with an internal cityscape and landscape unique unto itself. This was achieved by inserting two independent spatial figures into the wedge that stretch the full length of the site and create a spatial interlock in plan and section.

The first figure 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 figure is a green valley which carves out the earth as it flows down from the public square terminating in an outdoor amphitheater. A tension is created between these extremities, with the square representing an enclosed concentration of built form and the amphitheater, an open expansion of the intervening green. These two domains are held together by the Visitor's Center which is placed at the point where the piazza is concluded and the valley begins. In this way, a dialogue is created between the Visitor's Center, which acts as the focal point of the square and demonstrates the ongoing changes of the University, and the amphitheater which is nestled deep down in the earth and represents the preservation of tradition.

Created by Lior Mark