Erich Mendelsohn loved Jerusalem and felt close to God there.
He brought 12 building projects in Palestine to fruition that not only reflect the building boom that set in the 1930s, but also Mendelsohn’s Zionist beliefs. His vision was an independent Jewish nation on Palestinian soil that integrated a larger Semitic alliance of states. So he merged elements of various styles such as Arabian, Roman and Levantine in his buildings and thus entered into an east-west dialogue.
An outstanding example of this is the Jerusalem university clinic. The Hadassah Medical Centre belongs to the Hebrew university complex of buildings that are spectacularly located at the summit of Mount Scopus. In his sketches Mendelsohn tried to do the location justice by placing all the buildings appropriately.
The building complex erected from 1936 to 1939 is almost 150 metres long. It was made of ferro-concrete and clad with sandstone. Three domes, reminiscent of Arabian architecture sit above the main entrance and can be seen from a distance. A small balcony sweeps out towards the Dead Sea on the left hand side.
Taking into account the prevailing climate in Palestine and for protection from the intense heat of the sun, Mendelsohn forewent panoramic windows and inserted narrow, high rectangular windows instead.
The Hadassah Medical Centre was extended and converted in 1979. It is in very good condition today, but a dense development now surrounds the once exposed complex of buildings on Mount Scopus.