The Presidential Residence (Hebrew: משכן הנשיא), also known as Beit Ha Nassi, is the official residence of the President of Israel, located Talbiya, Jerusalem.
Beit Ha Nassi was built by the Israeli Government in 1964, after President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi’s death.
The original idea was to incorporate it into a complex of government ministries. But the state’s third president, Zalman Shazar, who was a modest man, wanted to live in a residential area and not in splendid isolation.
A competition for the architectural design was launched in 1964 and limited to Israeli architects. Of some 200 entries, the design submitted by Jerusalemite Aba Elhanani was selected.
Neither the adjudicators nor Elhanani gave sufficient thought to the possibility that some future president, such as Yitzhak Navon, the nation’s fifth president (1978-1983), might have young children; nor that there should be provision for wheelchair access or as mentioned above that there should be a large and properly equipped kitchen to cater to state luncheons and dinners.
Today, Shimon Peres, the ninth and current President of the State of Israel, lives there.