When you're designing a high-rise for one of the world's most ancient cities, it's hard to argue with the appropriateness of a pyramid. Jerusalem's skyline will soon have a new star with the approval of a 26-storey, mixed-use stone-and-glass tower designed by Daniel Libeskind and local architect Yigal Levi, nicknamed the "Freedom Pyramid." Set to reach just below the height of the Holyland Tower 1, the city's tallest building, the high-rise adjacent to the famous Shuk market will include luxury apartments, commercial space, a boutique hotel and a rooftop restaurant and observatory.
First proposed in 2011, the tower has evolved since it was initially conceived of as a 24-story building with a curved glass façade. The current tapered structure features Jewish motifs throughout, including Stars of David embedded in the exterior, and will feature an arched colonnade connecting the plaza to a shopping arcade and the streetscape. This has been one of the first high-rise structures approved since the municipality began enforcing height restrictions on new constructions projects, part of a larger struggle to balance the goals of improving the city's commercial landscape and maintaining its unique historic heritage and landscape (which explains the choice of a stone façade). The Libeskind-Levi project is still a ways off, however; construction may not begin until 2019.
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