We received many reactions to our publication of the article Text and Context (AI 47), mainly from students who are fed up with all the mumbo jumbo.
Aviad Ben-Mordechai, a second year student of architecture at the Technion, comments, 'I am familiar with this reality. I experienced it during my first year class Introduction to Pretension. When will a dictionary of pretentious terminology for the first year student be published? It could be a real moneyspinner. With it, youd get by with very little real architectural education. I say this not as a criticism of the institution I currently attend, but in identification with the article.'
Havazelet Ferber from Jerusalem commented on our article titled Vital Elements in Planning Promenades, published in the last issue. 'I agree with the analysis of the situation regarding public promenades in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Lack of points of interest and especially shaded areas are also among the downsides of Haifas Panorama Promenade, totally unusable during the day due to the hot sun, despite the magical view.
However, you left out one vital point: the Armon Hanaziv promenade in Jerusalem, Haifa’s Panorama Promenade and Tel Aviv’s beachfront promenade are sites focused specifically on tourists, catering to the needs of tourists who arrive from afar (not necessarily overseas), to enjoy the view, the fresh air and freedom. In contrast, the Yarkon promenade is a neighborhood feature because of its location. The examples from overseas such as the Ramblas and the Champs Elysees, are irrelevant because they are inner-city promenades, unlike anything we can provide in our big cities. The Jerusalem promenade, and as much the same Nachlat Benyamin in Tel Aviv, do not provide a view, do not provide activities and actually comply with all the criteria provided in the article. Thus, despite difficult times, they are still much better off than the ‘tourist’ sites. The combination of attractions, focal points and access to shade should also include a connection to the location (residential or active commercial areas). A randomly-located promenade, or even worse one adjacent to a busy road, has no connection to its human surroundings and will definitely fall victim to any change in general atmosphere and tourism.”
AI: True. That is basically what it says in the article. In any case, thanks for the clarification.
In Search of Relatives
An architect named Danny, who probably lives in Ramat Aviv and visited Orlando in August, is kindly requested to contact the AI editorial board:03-6471133.
Awards and Competitions
The Rokach Award in Architecture was this year granted to architects Rami Gil and Shmuel Groberman for the planning of two buildings: an urban villa (AI 47) and the refurbishing of a protected building in Kerem Hatemanim in Tel Aviv. The City of Tel Aviv prize was also granted to architect Amnon Bar-Or for his work in building conservation. An honorable mention was granted to architect Niza Smok and to the Municipality’s own Conservation Division.
The Abraham Caravan Award for Garden and Landscape Architecture was granted to landscape architects Zvi Dekel, Uri Miller and Shlomo Zeevi for the planning of the Memorial Park in Rishon LeZion. Architects Eitan Eden, Eyal Ziv and Reli Parto were given an award for planning the new promenade in Jaffa, and architects Judy Green and Ram Eisenberg were awarded for their landscape interpretation in the Jerusalem’s Talbiah Park.
The Arieh Elhannani Award for Architecture was granted to architect Zvi Harel for his integration of art into architecture in his plan of the Baal Shem Tov Bridge in Jaffa (AI 36). The bridge is designed to connect two sections of an Arab neighborhood divided by a (mistakenly built) highway. Harel is well-acquainted with humorous architectural statements: during the awards ceremony he distributed a two-sheet pamphlet describing in two different versions a building he planned in Jaffa. The building is the cause of an ongoing legal dispute with Municipal officials who claim the architect altered the shape of the windows on the top floor of the building, rendering them no longer 'Jaffa-like'. The new windows appear in the Jaffa-like detail category of a booklet produced by the Jaffa team, as well as a central motif of the Baal Shem Tov Bridge, for which Harel was commended. You must judge for yourselves.
The Architects Association granted on Architects Day a Life-Time Achievement Award to architects Al Mansfeld (Israel Museum) and Shmuel Mestazkin – among the founders of the International Architecture movement in the 1930s. All this is clear and understood. What we find harder to understand is how they granted an award of equal stature to young architect Rafi Segal. Rafi didn’t quite get it himself, and promised to justify the award in the future.
On the other hand, rival association, Architects Union managed to truly humiliate its public of architects. After 194 proposals were submitted for the planning of Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, only one of the four judges even arrived in the country – Austrian architect Harry Seidler. Harry was, of course, hosted by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, but Arata Isozaki was not granted Mother Japan’s permission to travel, Maximilian Fuksas solved it with a fax, and Zvi Heker forgot his way to the nearest El Al agency. How is this the Union’s fault? Instead of relieving the judges of their status and appointing an Israeli panel of judges, they continued to scrounge and beg. The judges finally agreed to venture as close to Israel as Vienna, and there they selected six projects in three different categories: in the practical category, proposals by Christopher Lee from London, Gabriela Zauberman from Israel, and Axel Baher from Germany. In the conceptual category, they selected Sebastian Cadette and Piere Cosheron from Paris, and Ritter Roland from Vienna. In the symbolic category, their choice was Branz Paulo from Italy and Nira Reichman from Israel. The proposals of Tali Laub and Ran Hason from Israel were the Public’s Choice among readers of a Tel Aviv newspaper.
And on a more optimistic note – Egypt has announced an international competition for the planning of a historic museum near the pyramids of Giza. Details: Yasser Monsour, Tel: 202 386 5911 or visit http://www.gem.gov.eg.
The first phase of the HaHagana Train Station along the Ayalon highway is nearing completion. This station, together with the three existing ones, will be part of the Tel Aviv metropolitan suburban train system.
Architects: Miri Kaiser, Ilan Lekner.
In AI 46 we published an article about the 'gradual exposure' used by young designers in the design of small shops. Since this publication, we have been flooded with examples which accurately reflect our thesis, including the:a shop in Ramat Aviv Mall designed by Dana Avrish. Survival of competing shops in the mall is greatly dependent on their design. The goal was to inspire a Parisian haute couture atmosphere in the place. Dana’s former experience as a model dictated the concept as she transformed the shop into a ‘catwalk’. The symmetric display line across the center of the shop are somewhat banal, but the many functions it serves are revealed only after a complete tour of the runway: a permanent display of 'hot' items on the 'supermodels', storage shelves built into its panels, and a sales desk at the back, near the fitting rooms giving customers easy access to the sales clerks. Design: Dana Avrish – Studio of Interior Design and Architecture.
Architectural students from all over the country participated in the competition for the planning of light train stations, which was held by the Urban Transportation Company. Top places were won by Tel Aviv University students of architecture, with one group successfully relating to the balance between the unbearable lightness of modern life and the classic heaviness of the train. Instructors: Architects Kimle-Eshkolot and Orit Pinchas.
Revit Technology is offering a new approach towards the planning process that enables architects to plan with an electronic model of the building. The program is based on a real time automatic updating of all the plan levels. Thus, the production of a full set of plans at any time during the planning process is made with no great effort. Revit is represented in Israel by Systematics, who excels in the field of technological engineering solutions in the building industry.
Write to us. Without optimism there is no spring; without spring there is no architecture.