With pride tempered at first by a reluctance to tip his hand, Shuka Dorfman, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), made BAR the first publication to receive the IAA’s stunning booklet introducing the ambitious plans for its National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel.
Though still six or seven years—and $40-45 million—away from realization, the new IAA campus will rise next to the expanded Bible Lands Museum of Jerusalem and within a short walk of the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, which houses the seven large Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947. Designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the architectural signature of the campus will be a huge glass canopy supported by metal cables, shaped to resemble the drape of the open tents that provide shade over archaeological digs. The canopy will slope down toward a circular ring at its center that will permit rain to cascade into a pool in the courtyard beneath. All indoor space will be below entrance-level because the building will be constructed (as was the Bible Lands Museum) on a steep slope so that the view across the valley will remain unobstructed.