P. 63

Although the National Institutions Building is characterized as a building in the spirit of the International Style, Ratner combined in it several historical elements that have already been mentioned. Particularly prominent is the glacis in the KKL-JNF Wing that creates an incline similar to the sharp incline at the base of the Tower of David, one of the clear symbols of Jerusalem. Historical city walls had a glacis built in them to make it difficult for besieging enemies to undermine the structure.
The narrow window shaped like a slit is also reminiscent of embrasures for shooting arrows in ancient forts. Ratner also designed a stylized grating that protects the opening (an element he repeatedly used in the "Eden" Hotel that he built in the center of Jerusalem).
The iron fixings and works on the gates to the wings were designed in the Art Deco spirit that was common in Europe from the mid-Twenties onward. The columns on the first floor of the central structure also contribute to the monumentality of the structure. It is interesting to note that in the schematic of the façades, which was submitted to the competition, the glacis was not emphasized while the columned vestibule was greatly emphasized – contrary to the reality.
As stated, the various churches and public buildings that were constructed in Jerusalem in the late 19th and early 20th century relied prominently upon historical structures that were known in their country of origin. The Italian Hospital looks like Palazzo Vecchio (the old palace) in Florence and like public buildings in Tuscany; the English Protestant Church and the British Saint George's College are reminiscent of Gothic structures in Oxford. Compared to them, the National Institutions Building was characterized by its modesty, simplicity and clean lines and only a few mentions tied it to the history of architecture. It is possible that the central courtyard and the arches at the entrances to the wings in the courtyard expressed an oriental inspiration. It is also possible that the planning of the building as a horseshoe originates from European precedents of public buildings such as the courthouse in Paris, but the modern aspect in the planning and the reference to the environment are the dominant aspects. The complex stands at the edge of a neighborhood with a high-quality design in the spirit of garden cities. The houses in the neighborhoods occupied only a third of the plot and the large amount of gardening dipped it in greenery.14 Compared with the neighborhood structures, the National Institutions Building had a large mass.
Another element that contributed to the monumental sense instilled by the complex was the scenery that could be seen from the square and the office windows. During those years, one could clearly see the Old City, a view that was impaired after the erection of an office building of Solel Boneh on the other side of King George Street (this building was abandoned many years ago, but was not demolished and no other building has been built in its place).
14 Ramon, ibid.

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