Competitions and Prizes

            The Architects’ Association and Herzliya Municipality have announced a Conceptual Competition for the Herzliya Coast Master Plan. Competition details available from the Architects House in Jaffa. Proposals to be submitted by March 30. Judges: Architects Ram Karmi and Ada Karmi-Melamede, Ulrik Plesner, Eli First, David Sockut (Municipal Engineer), Kiril Kuziol (Municipal Architect) and Arie Gonnen (Association Secretary), with Mayor Yael German and deputy Haim Peled. For details, telphone 972-3-5188234.

            Architect Yishai Well has won the competition for planning a Memorial Center for Fallen Soldiers of the Engineers’ Corps, initiated by the Peles Association. The center is adjacent to an existing memorial in the Hulda Forest. Architect Yoram Popper was the runner-up with a joint proposal with Santandreu Luciano and Ronen Boneh that emphasized symbolic motifs taken from the world of military engineering such as the 'bridge' (connecting to the existing site), the 'path to' (which crosses the garden) and “memorial walls” (massive stone walls on which the names of the fallen are enscribed).

            Rishon LeZion Municipality is planning a Gallery for Israeli Art at the civic center to be built on town’s west side. A closed competition selected the proposal of architect Ram Karmi. Goldenberg-Buchman, in collaboration with David Nofar, also reached the finals.



            The first conference held by the Young Architects Forum took place at the Azrieli Center early in November. Sponsored by the Architects’ Association, the conference featured Dutch Architect Mattahijs Bouw, who heads the One Architecture office. On this auspicious occasion, the establishment of a Young Architect prize was announced; nominees are already being assessed. That leads us to reflect on the British milestone for aging, when it appears that all the policemen are getting younger... For prize details call 972-3-5188234, or e-mail:

            The crusade to save the IBM Building in Tel Aviv has borne fruit, despite the new owners’ plan to add an “up to date” artificial facade. The building is a Tel Aviv landmark, built during the sixties in the “Five Invitees” complex which encompasses the honorable Asia House designed by architect Mordechay Ben-Horin, America House by Arie and Eldar Sharon, Daphna House by Ram Karmi, and the Europe House and IBM building planned by Yasky-Gil-Sivan. The desecration of the IBM building has been prevented, despite the belated awakening of the Municipal Preservation Committee, who agreed under much pressure to add the building to the list of preserved buildings, even though it is neither Bauhaus or Twenties Romantic. Now, what about its neighbors in the complex?

            The Israeli Standards Institute has established the “Safe House” - a new standard for radiation prevention in building materials. The new Standard - IS5098 determines the maximum radioactive content of bricks, blocks, coating sheets, natural stone materials and so forth. Suggestions to improvement: 972-3-6465116.

            A new plan to upgrade pedestrian section of Nachalat Benyamin, one of Tel Aviv’s first streets, was recently presented at the Tel Aviv Museum. Planned by conservation architect Amnon Bar-Or, the refurbishment is to be financed through expansion of existing buildings to seven floors by the Randler Group and Ariel Holdings company. The appearance of the neighborhood of buildings from the 1920s will be completely transformed. Also to be renovated is Magen David Square (designed by Kertesz-Groag) in a plan that will transform the pedestrian subway, Tel Aviv’s most famous public urinal, into an underground car park.



            Salon, an art and design exhibition at the Villa in Neve Zedek, Tel Aviv’s first neighborhood, presented furniture by a random group of designers to encourage cultural activity in the manner of Paris’s literary “salons”. The beauty of the Templar Villa, once home to the Wagner brothers, contributed to the successful display of the diverse designs.



            New footbridges at the meeting point of the Yarkon and Ayalon rivers connect the “Bird’s Head” quarter with the rest of the Yarkon Park, thus enabling pedestrian traffic between Bavli neighborhood in Tel Aviv and Shikun Vatikim in adjacent Ramat Gan. Architect Netanel Ben-Itshak, who won the closed competition only after he agreed to take part free of charge, designed the bridges. The two bridges demonstrate extraordinary initiative and grace; one simulates a leaf floating on the water and the other is entangled between two towers.


            On the Verge of Architecture

            Glass Artist Jeremy Langford has published a catalog summarizing twenty years of activity. His works demonstrate some 30 various techniques, and can be seen decorating the Supreme Courthouse, the President’s Residence, and the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem, as well as the British Museum and Greek Embassy in London.



            The Fourth Annual Competition for the Planning of Educational Buildings commenced at the end of July. The blessed initiative belongs to the Department of Educational Building Facade Design in the Department of Education and contributes to the search for original and creative design solutions. Forty eight proposals from seven architecture and design schools were submitted. The winning proposals in place order: in the Complex category - Tamar Schwalb, Wizo Canada College, Haifa; Eli Effi and Ronnie Friedman of Bezalel College, Zohar Kenan of the Technion. In the Basic Project category - Shachaf Zait of the Technion; Oded Kutok of Tel Aviv University; Liron Elkan of the Technion. In the Product Design category - Naftali Ben-Haim and Gil Cohen of the Technical College of Design in Holon; Almog Tsachar of Bezalel College, Moti Klepel and Esti Erez-Eytan of Wizo Canada College, Haifa. The works will be presented at the Design in Education 2001 exhibition, open to the public from February at the Israel and Rachel Pollok Gallery, in the Kalisher Complex, Tel Aviv.

            Well worth waiting for: the second draft of final project submissions at Tel Aviv University. Among the projects presented with such uncharacteristic clarity were that of students Udi Carmeli and Yoram Ronen, instructed by Ayala Ronen and Yoram Nidam. The two graduating students demonstrated a humane attitude towards the improvement of the African foreign workers’ quality of life in the densely populated and unsympathetic area of Tel Aviv’s Old Central Bus Station. The Minister of Interior will definitely not appreciate the urban solutions they proposed, but we are dealing here with thousands of unfortunate people toiling for a few pennies to send back home to their families. He’ll get over it. Carmeli and Ronen developed a multi-purpose community center catering both to the needs of the workers while enriching the city with their unique ethnic identity. In these circumstances, their good intentions compensate for any weaknesses in the plan.

            The Committee for Higher Education has authorized the Judea and Samaria College Department of Architecture in Ariel  to grant a “Graduate of Architecture” degree. And so the College joins the three schools authorized to grant an academic degree in architecture in Israel - the Technion, Tel Aviv University and Bezalel. Professor Yoseff Shweid established the Architecture Department six years ago is soon to be replaced by architect Saadia Mandl, former head of the Environmental Design Department at Bezalel. The department has 200 students in a campus characterized, thanks to its distance from Israel’s urban center, by a unique social atmosphere.



            Architect Ram Karmi’s new book, Lyric Architecture, documenting fifty years of his work was presented to guests at Karmi’s seventieth birthday party at Rosemarine House in Herzliya Pituach. Karmi, one of the most influential architects in Israel, is the son of Modernist architect Dov Karmi, and brother of architect Ada Karmi-Melamede, his partner in designing Jerusalem’s Supreme Court building.

            Due to great demand, a condensed version of Dora Gad, the Israeli Presence in Interior Design has been reprinted. Available from AI. Order by telephone: 972-3-6471133.

            Urban Planning: Conservation and Preservation, edited by architect Nahum Cohen, is a resource of practical treatment of design dilemmas, preservation and urban conservation. Available from AI. Order by telephone: 972-3-6471133.


            Thats it for now. Rachel



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