Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Innovation Center

An Innovative EdTech Hub in the Heart of the Negev Desert

  • Client

    Mandel Foundation, The new Jerusalem Foundation, MindCET, The Center for Educational Tecnology (CET)

  • Location


  • Status

    • Completed
  • Program

    Hub-Lab, Makers space, Conference Center, Classrooms, Auditorium, Cafeteria

  • Area

    1,800 sqm

  • Services

    Architecture, Interior Design

  • Categories

    • Culture, Civic & Education

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Innovation Center stands amidst the yellow limestone hills of the Negev desert, its silhouette resembling that of a Bedouin tent - a nod to the indigenous culture of the area. The design draws inspiration from the starkness of the desert juxtaposed against the nearby town of Yeruham, which is reflected in both the building's envelope and interior colors. The structure features an exposed concrete roof that folds and hovers over the open workspaces, providing a shading element that extends beyond the glass walls. Its geometric design allows for natural light to penetrate every corner of the building, bathing it in a gentle glow that reinforces the center's values of transparency, openness, and inclusion.

MindCet, a leading EdTech innovation center that brings together entrepreneurs, educators, and researchers to develop groundbreaking educational solutions, calls the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Innovation Center home. The 1,800 sqm building comprises an innovation hub, workspaces, a laboratory, an experimental classroom, visitor and exhibition spaces, a multifunctional auditorium and event space, cafeteria, and support spaces. The building's interior features free-standing enclosed cubes of various colors, serving as classrooms, makers workspaces, and meeting rooms. These colorful cubes also act as space separators, creating smaller, more personalized work zones within the larger volume.

Despite the remote location, we chose concrete as the primary material due to its versatility and wide range of applications. The technology and advanced systems were also incorporated into the design of the concrete ceiling (including acoustic sails) and floor space. The simplicity of the arches lends an elegant presence to the building, while the malleability of the concrete makes it an ideal material for use in the desert. The resulting structure reflects the values outlined in the initial project brief, expressing innovation through design, simplicity, transparency, and a sense of place and purpose.

Team Tomme Omer, Tatyana Abigail Pesin, Noam Muskal, Ori Rotem, Ori Halevy Photographer Uzi Porat

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