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Prof. Gelabert-Navia's Firm, Perkins+Will Wins International Design Competition for the Hebrew Institute

Aerial view of the future Hebrew Institute in Santiago, Chile
By UM News

Aerial view of the future Hebrew Institute in Santiago, Chile

Prof. Gelabert-Navia's Firm, Perkins+Will Wins International Design Competition for the Hebrew Institute

By UM News

Prof. Jose Gelabert-Navia’s firm, Perkins+Will has been selected as the winner of the international design competition for the new Hebrew Institute in Santiago, Chile. The competition featured 18 firms from across the globe. Teamed with ASL Arquitectos, Perkins+Will created a school design inspired by local Jewish values and their 3 pillars: Academic excellence, Jewish principles, and Social values. The project proposes a facility that symbolically extends its arms in blessing and protection of the children within and the campus at large. Prof. Gelabert-Navia added, “This is going to be like no other school of its kind. At close to 200,000 square feet, it will have grades K-12 and will be focused not only in bringing the best education to its students, but also a solid spiritual foundation and knowledge of the Jewish Faith and tradition. U-SoA Lecturer, Pat Bosch, who is teaching this semester, was a key part of the team.”

Located in Santiago de Chile, the Hebrew Institute provides a new K-12 addition within the Jewish community center called “Estadio Israelita”. It’s main purpose is to create a continuum in the academic teachings of the Chilean Jewish society. Academic excellence as well as Hebrew identity are the basis of the existing school curriculum.

The design incorporates the best of “future ready” practices for next generation schools such as flexibility, adaptability, integration with indoor and outdoor learning environments and formal and informal learning spaces. The program is composed of three main courtyards and a central congregation sub-level that brings light and activity to the heart of the school. Security, wellness and the meditative qualities of sound, light and journey were carefully thought through as students travel to each of the four main neighborhoods. The school provides flexibility for enrollment to grow up to 1,400 students between the grades of K-12. The main building is based on the symbol SHI, or the symbol of protection, often placed on the doorways in Jewish homes.