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Supreme Court of Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

Architect: Ada Karmi-Melamede, Ram Karmi
Completion: 1992

Supreme Court of Israel was opened in 1992 and considered the finest achievement in contemporary Israeli architecture.

Constructed of local limestone, the eclectic, post-modern style incorporates various historical references that reflect the continuity of law in Jewish history and tradition (just as the positioning of the court building on a hilltop above the Knesset was a deliberate emphasis on the supremacy of the law). Israel’s Supreme Court sits as two courts: the Supreme Court; and as the High Court of Justice, which hears petitions against government bodies and agencies. The building contains five courtrooms, chambers and a library. The entrances to the courtrooms are framed with monumental blocks of limestone in architectural reference to the gateways that once gave access to the Royal Stoa. The courtrooms replicate a Roman basilica with columns and a vaulted ceiling. The inner courtyard is bisected by a narrow water channel.