Rakafot School

Knafo Klimor Architects completed near Haifa a school composed by three volumes organized along a main liner route and surrounded by a landscape, designed by BO-Landscape Architects, that incorporates nature’s softness and diversity within the structures.

Knafo Klimor Architects, Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel
As a holistic approach to sustainability, Kiryat Bialik’s Rakafot Elementary School, Israel, was designed by Knafo Klimor Architects in order to create a wholesome space for the pupils, while reducing environmental impact.
The main theme of the design concept was the integration between the outdoors and learning spaces, while creating informal activity and educational areas. These spaces add extra value to the pupils learning experience by allowing diversity within the school and broadening their educational horizons.
Knafo Klimor Architects, Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel
Knafo Klimor Architects, Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel
While forming the concept, it was important to create comfortable and healthy environment for the students by applying an overall approach that promotes passive planning combined with active smart system to maintain natural resources. The school complex is organized around a main shaded boulevard that in a sense is the “beating heart” of the project.
The school is a combination of three separate wings, organized along a main liner route. The architectural program contains 18 classrooms, technology and science classrooms, library and administration area. The total area of the buildings is approximately 2700 square meters that spreads on two floors in each wing. The first stage that was built includes 12 classrooms and it will be followed by a second stage that will be completed by the fall of 2016.
Knafo Klimor Architects, Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel
Knafo Klimor Architects, Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel

The site has a rectangle shape. The entrance is located in its south side while the length of it is facing east and west. The school scheme is built around a shaded, central, linear space that functions as the core of the school. Trees were incorporated along the space so that it will be an integral part of the internal landscape.

The central spine was planned according to site orientation taking into consideration climate preferences while facing the facades of the buildings to the north and south. This spine is used as the main pedestrian route, connecting the entrance to the buildings, the school’s backyard, sport hall and playing area. In addition, the dimensions of the rout allow it to be a place for outdoor activity, using its variable areas for the benefit of the kids.

Knafo Klimor Architects, Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel
Knafo Klimor Architects, Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel. Photo © Knafo Klimor Architects

The building was designed to create immediate connection between interior and exterior spaces by using courtyards, a patio and a green roof. The large openings of the building allows vast amount of light to penetrate the classrooms and outdoor spaces, thus introducing nature into the building.

The green roof is directly accessible from the first floor as an integral part of the building’s flow. Both parts of the building on each side of the main route are connected by two bridges that create continuous movement between the buildings and the green roof.

Knafo Klimor Architects, Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel. Photo © Knafo Klimor Architects
Knafo Klimor Architects, Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel. Photo © Knafo Klimor Architects

The idea behind the landscape design, designed by Orna Ben-Zion and Barry Ben-Shalom from BO-Landscape Architects is to incorporate nature’s softness and diversity within the structures and along the entire project.

The School yards was created as a platform for the school’s faculty and student body to sense, observe, discover and learn about the environment facilitates the creation of a rich and changing ecosystem. Placed in between the buildings each of the outdoor areas has unique characteristics correlating with the different age groups, and meant to provide a range of various activities. This encourages the pupils to learn and experimenting while playing and spending time outdoors.


Rakafot School, Kiryat Bialik, Israel
Program : school
Architects : Knafo Klimor Architects
Landscape Architecture : BO-Landscape Architects
Structural Engineer : Remix – Consultants, Planning & Engineering
Electrical Engineer : Tel – Electric Engineering
Green Construction : Advanced Energy Systems
Service Engineer : Advanced Energy Systems
Water & Drainage : S. Agnon and Partners
Safety consultant : Naftaly Ronen Architects
Roads Design & Planning : Zvika Nave
Development contractor : Hisham Khmeisi, Hisham Group
Project management & supervision : Nativ Engineering & Management Ltd
Area : 2,700 sqm
Completion : 2015

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