The archaeology wing of the Israel Museum closed earlier this year for renovations, and today the New York Times has a good article (with photos) on the $80 million plan to improve the entire campus.
The project involves about 80,000 square feet of new buildings and about 200,000 square feet of renovation and renewal, mostly in the galleries. The new buildings, airy but modest glass structures with ceramic louvers to deflect and tame the sun, are designed to respect the Mansfeld grid and aesthetic. But they will also provide a sense of transparency and illumination, especially at night, making the museum more welcoming. The new entrance will fit neatly into a block of the existing sprawl, about two-thirds of the way up the promenade. It not only will shorten the hike but will guide visitors to a central concourse from which all the main galleries can be reached, providing a clear sense of geography. The renovation incorporates a flat, climate-controlled path for those who cannot or choose not to take the old steep promenade.
The project is scheduled to be finished in 2009. The NY Times article will cost after about 2 weeks, so if you’re interested, read it now.