When plans were introduced for the Mamilla Hotel Jerusalem, which opened in June of 2009 and is among the few selected five-star hotels in the city, it sparked a bit of controversy. This completely modern property could have threatened the sacredness of the Old City and its desire to keep an ancient aesthetic. But all was set at ease once architect Moshe Safdie and designer Piero Lissoni took creative rein. Faced with the challenge of designing a contemporary property for Alrov Luxury Group while honoring the municipal law of building with Jerusalem stone (local practice for years), Israeli-born Safdie used the material’s characteristics to his advantage. He took a medium used for centuries and practically redefined it by delivering something fresh and modern.