Prizes and competitions


            New York-based Israeli architect Michael Arad has won the design competition for the September 11 memorial. At the centre of his proposal are two square pools with water drizzling down walls to symbolize the emptiness left by the tragedy. The site, located ten meters below ground level, is accessible via an underground passage. Landscape architect Peter Walker joined Arad during the final stage.


            The Leon Reiskin Prize for Architectural Excellence at the Technion Faculty of Architecture was awarded to the graduate Israel Rivkin. The panel of judges, chaired by Prof. Moshe Tzur held that in the absence of detailed criteria for the prize, none of the projects participated exhibited the excellence deserving of first place. The student was awarded second prize and plans are underway to establish criteria for the future. Rivkins project suggested transforming Rabin Square into a computer operated, changeable system capable of containing different functions in accordance with diverse needs. The panel of judges included Prof. Edna Shaviv, Dean of Architecture at the Technion, Prof. Moshe Tzur, Dr. Ami Ran, editor of AI, Jerusalem City Engineer Uri Shetrit, Tel Aviv City Engineer Danny Kaiser, architect Dan Eitan, architect Haim Dotan, and architect Peter Sobol.


            A competition to extend and remodel the Free Library of Philadelphia, with a "symbolic" budget of one hundred million US dollars was won by architect Moshe Safdie, leaving behind well-known architects such as Norman Foster, Cesar Pelli and Ten Arquitectos.




            Israels interior designer, Dora Gad, has passed away at the age of 92. Among her notable projects are the interiors of Tel Aviv Hilton, Hotel Hasharon, El-Al airplanes, Zims "Shalom" ocean liner, the National Library, the Knesset building and the Israel Museum for which she received the Israel Prize, along with architect Al Mansfeld. Dora Gad, apparently one of the last remnants of the giants of the International age in Israel, was born in Romania in 1912, studied architecture and engineering in Vienna and lived until her dying day in Caesarea. A book describing her work and contribution to the development of interior design in Israel was published in 1997. The book, edited by Prof. Ran Shchori and designed by Prof. Siona Shimshi is available (in limited copies) exclusively to AI subscribers.


            "Elementra", the first Arab art museum in Israel, will be built on one of the beautiful hilltops of Um el Fahum. According to its future president – Said Abu Shakra – the museum will focus on conciliation, love and kinship. Architect Zaha Hadid will chair the steering team. Inshallah.


            A new Israeli Standard (IS 2413) aims to evaluate and improve buildings resistance to earthquakes, and for once building design issues are taken into account. The standard  focuses on thickening walls, columns and floors. Lets take this opportunity to suggest writing some standards for architectural quality, professional ethics and prohibiting Mifal Hapais (lottery) from placing its ugly big signs on buildings. Enough is enough!



            "Import-Export" – the fourth in a series of "Merhav" exhibits by the Architectural Association is open until 25/3/04 at the Architects House Gallery in Jaffa. Some fifty projects planned in the past five years, including winners of international competitions, reflect efforts by architects to expand the market abroad.

Curator: Architect Shlomo Shafrir.




Bat Yam Amphitheater.

            The open theatre has always been an integral part of Mediterranean architecture. Nowadays, when people tend to remain in closed spaces, the amphitheater in Bat Yam, with its acoustical conch, is a fitting urban element.

Amphitheater architect:

Landscape architect Gideon Sarig.

Stage and Shell architect: Nettanel Ben-Itzhak.

Structural Engineer: Mark Gelberg.


Ruhama Institute.

            This residence and employment center owned by the Ministry of Labor and  Social Welfare houses 200 mentally retarded  patients, of varying disability.  Built around a covered interior courtyard, the expanded campus includes a dining room, activity rooms and meeting areas. The new building, which takes advantage of the natural slope, uses colors and shapes as guiding elements through the spaces. The residential clusters, house seven or eight people who function as supporting "families". The project won the Republic of Bulgaria Presidents prize for a "building depicting consideration of people with special needs".

Architecture, landscape and interior design: G.L. Guttman Architects - Gert Guttmann, Nick Simeonov design), Elka Golomb, Dina Yaari, Tzvika Levy.


Park Dahan for Unity, Bar-Ilan University.

            The campus at Bar Ilan University is probably one of the countrys largest areas containing the greatest concentration of architectural mistakes. It is characterized by an unbearable noise pollution, ugly unconnected buildings, and depressing landscape architecture. Four years ago, it was decided to expand the campus over the main road and build a 17-acre park that will provide some hope. The park commences with a boardwalk connecting the old campus, passes through the entrance building and ends with an amphitheater. Five sculpture "rooms" were designed by sculptors who were chosen to express the idea of "Unity".

Landscape Architects: Alisa Braudo, Ruth Maoz – Landscape Architecture Ltd.

Building Architect: Nava Choshen.


Entrance Tunnel to the Archeological Park, the Old City of Jerusalem.

            The Archeological Garden covers the area between the Mount of Olives and Ben Hinom Valley, from the Temple Mount to the City of David. The recently inaugurated entrance tunnel with its floating glass walls incorporates archeological elements, photography and drawings that enrich the visitor with information, before reaching important structures in the site - Robinson Arch, Hulda Stairs and Davidson Center.

Design: Dorit Harel, Designers.



            Environmental artist Ido Elgavish claims that functional art should be distinguished from sensual art. While sensual art need not be functional - an artistic element provides functional items with added value. Example of his philosophy: the work "Prayer". We are with you.




            The Architectural Department of the Judea and Samaria College has finally achieved accreditation by the Architects and Engineers Registrar – after slight intervention by Minister Ehud Olmert. The registrars meddling into the schools of architecture syllabus with his professional committees is in itself a scandal and a "new" job for the recently elected Architects Association committee. The Faculty, headed by one the countrys leading architects, Prof. Saadia Mandl , is not inferior to any other in Israel. 150 graduates have completed their studies in a campus that is politically distant yet shares the same area code as Tel Aviv University. For example, the final project of fifth year students Reut Zakay and Keren Greenbaum–Melamed, provides a new cultural center for the city of Holon that incorporates an art academy, entertainment hall, childrens activity center, commercial space, restaurants, art galleries and student residences. Let them study in peace.


            A light project and exhibit was held in the art and interior design department at the Jordan Valley College. The exhibit displayed three-dimensional objects that express the important relationship between light and architecture.

Curator: Irit Farjun.


            An initiative of Tel Aviv Universitys Faculty of Architecture – "Machbar Studio" –provides planning, supervision and consultation services for community projects. The purpose of this studio is to encourage social initiatives by developing physical nodes. Projects are designed, operated and built by the students and teachers with close involvement of members of the community. The students are currently busy with improving two elementary schools in Beit Shemesh.


            The thesis project of student Abed Badran, from the Department of Architecture at WIZO Academy in Haifa, deals with "urban upgrading of the Arab Village". Badran, who criticizes the Westernization of the Arab village in recent decades, suggests viewing the village as a traditional system of associations free of outside influence. Badran addresses the problem of Arab planners who suffer from lack of confidence when facing contemporary architecture. He suggests strengthening traditional elements such as the courtyard, orchard, street and home. Abeds project won second place in the student competition for school design. His research project was among the finalists in the Berkeley Price Competition in cooperation with UNESCO and the Barcelona Forum.


            Readers are encouraged to enrich us with any information.



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