Located largely in what was once the no-man’s-land between the Israeli and Jordanian sectors of Jerusalem, the Mamilla district forms the connection between the old and new cities. Since 1972, when Moshe Safdie and Associates was commissioned to develop an urban design for the 28-acre site comprising a central business and mixed-use district, the district has continued to evolve and transform as a place of community.
On the south bank are 250 residential units and a 385 room hotel; on the north bank are a bus terminal, public car parks for 1,600 vehicles, a two-level pedestrian shopping street with 300,000 square feet of retail space, as well as apartments, offices, and a second hotel. With a designated developer in 1986, Safdie was retained to undertake all building on the site. In 1994 the development team was expanded to undertake the next stage of building, including the Mamilla Hotel and the residential and commercial sectors. Consideration for the historic character of the area as well as detailed market, economic, and transportation analysis were integral parts of the planning process. With the housing, hospitality, commercial, and open space components now in place, Mamilla Center balances historic structures with the design of new buildings, emphasizing the street as a crossroads and connector.