The Cubes House / Néstor Sandbank

© Itai Sikolsky

Architects: Néstor Sandbank
Location: Ramot HaShavim,
Project Area: 3,000 sqm
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Itai Sikolsky

Winner Announced for Design of Jerusalem District Courthouse

Courtesy of Studio PEZ and Zarhy Architects

Studio PEZ along with Zarhy Architects have won the international competition to design the District Courthouse Complex in , . The new 40,000 sqm complex, which will contain all court facilities (aside from the supreme court), will act as a “new landmark in Jerusalem,” according to Daniel Zarhy and Pedro Peña Jurado of Studio PEZ.

Their winning proposal – “City of Justice” – was praised by the jury for being “alive, interesting, and [...] designed with much attention to detail.” By re-interpreting the courthouse typology and dividing the program into different masses, the architects not only avoided a monolithic appearance and achieved a human scale, but also allowed for phase-by-phase project execution, an aspect which was favoured by the jury.

The District Courthouse is a part of a current construction boom in the capital, which includes a new high-rise tower by Daniel Libeskind and the National Library by Herzog & De Meuron. More images, drawings, and the architects’ description after the break…

Open and Transparent to The City / Pitsou Kedem Architects

© Amit Geron

Architects: Pitsou Kedem Architects
Location: Tel Aviv,
Architect In Charge: Ran M. Broides
Design Team: Pitsou Kedem, Ran M. Broides , Nurit Ben Yosef and Irene Goldberg
Area: 680.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Amit Geron

RIBA Drops Israel Motion, Sets Up Global Ethics Group in Response to Controversy

The original motion by RIBA was a response to architecture’s role in the occupation of Palestine. Image © Rianne Van Doevern via Flickr CC User The Advocacy Project

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has dropped their controversial proposal to ban the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the umbrella organization the International Union of Architects (UIA). Intended as a sanction against the for failing to “resist projects on illegally-occupied land,” supporters of the proposal had hoped it would be discussed at the UIA World Congress in Durban in August, however the has confirmed that it will not include the motion as it is beyond their ‘political scope’.

In response to the highly controversial episode – which garnered criticism both in the UK and as far afield as the United States - the RIBA has announced a new working group that will “consider the institute’s role in engaging with communities facing civil conflict and natural disaster.”

More on the decision by the UIA and the new RIBA Ethics Group after the break

Publication: “The Urburb – Patterns of Contemporary Living”

© Sternthal Books

Written to accompany the minimal exhibition of the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, “The Urburb – Patterns of Contemporary Living” tells the story of the Urburb, a built condition which is neither urban nor suburban, that dominates the contemporary Israeli landscape. Edited by Architect and Dr. Roy Brand, the book brings together architectural photography and photographs of the installation interspersed amongst theoretical texts and short stories which address the cultural, political, and social aspects of the “Urburban” way of life. Learn more about the book, published by Sternthal Books, here.

Venice Biennale 2014: Israel’s Tabula Rasa

© Nico Saieh

is a country that was built with modernism as its guide. It flourished in a particular way and resulted in a unique architectural landscape, not only in terms of singular buildings, but also in the way in which the territory itself was planned. Anti-urban in essence, the Sharon Plan from 1951 gave birth to more than 400 new towns scattered across the territory.

This new landscape -a tabula rasa- evolved into a variety of patterns and forms, a landscape that is neither Urban nor Suburban.

“Urburb” is the title of the Israeli exhibit at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Within the pavilion, a constant robotic performance traces the patterns that resulted from the Sharon plan in the sand, only to erase them after a few minutes and then draw them again. It is a performance that makes one think about the future of new settlements and the possibilities of robotic construction.

The exhibition is curated by Ori Scialom, Dr. Roy Brand, Keren Yeala Golan and Edith Kofsky.

B.S.R 3 / Yashar Architects

© Amit Geron

Architects: Yashar Architects
Location: Kinneret Street 5, Bnei Brak,
Design Team: Avner Yashar, Yoav Michael, Tsahi Shibi
Area: 41,400 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Amit Geron

AIANY Denounces RIBA’s Israel Motion

The motion by RIBA is a response to architecture’s role in the occupation of Palestine. Image © Rianne Van Doevern via Flickr CC User The Advocacy Project

The New York chapter of the AIA has officially voiced its objection to a proposal by the RIBA to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the International Union of Architects (UIA). A letter drafted by AIANY President Lance Jay Brown and Chief Executive Rick Bell, and unanimously approved by AIANY’s board of directors, states that “the UIA’s stated goal is to unite the architects of the world without any form of discrimination”, and refers to the proposal to suspend the as “directly antithetical to the purpose of the much appreciated umbrella organization”.

The original proposal by the RIBA, adopted on March 19th, condemns the IAUA for its failure to “resist projects on illegally-occupied land” in the West Bank and Gaza, and calls on the UIA to suspend the body until it “acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, and the UIA Accords and Resolution 13.”

Read on for more on the controversial backstory to the RIBA’s motion

V House / Paz Gersh Architects

© Amit Giron

Architects: Paz Gersh Architects
Location: Tel Aviv,
Area: 350.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Amit Giron, Itay Sikolsky

Venice Biennale 2014: Israel Explores The Urburb, a Neither Urban nor Suburban Landscape

New neighbourhoods in Netanya. Image © Itamar Grinberg / The Israeli Pavilion 2014

Neither urban nor suburban, the Urburb is a fragmented mosaic of one hundred years of modernist planning in : early twentieth century garden-cities, mid-century social housing and generic, high-rise residential typologies of the past two decades. These residential mutations dominate the contemporary Israeli landscape, expanding and replacing existing textures, in an endless, repetitive cycle.

Float House / Pitsou Kedem Architects

© Amit Geron

Architects: Pitsou Kedem Architects
Location: Tel Aviv,
Design Team: Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed, Irene Goldberg
Site Area: 2,000 sqm
Area: 550 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Amit Geron

House Between 2 Gardens / Pitsou Kedem Architects

© Amit Geron

Architects: Pitsou Kedem Architects
Location: Ramat HaSharon,
Design Team: Pitsou Kedem, Nurit ben Yosef
Site Area: 1000 sqm
Area: 450.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Amit Geron

Topolopompo Fire Kitchen / Baranowitz Kronenberg Architecture Ltd

© Amit Geron

Architects: Baranowitz Kronenberg Architecture Ltd
Location: , Israel
Client: Avi Comforti And Partners
Area: 535.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Amit Geron

Ariel Sharon, Architecture and Occupation

© Rianne Van Doevern via Flickr CC User The Advocacy Project

In response to the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last week, has written an interesting investigation into how the controversial politician used architecture and urban planning as a tool in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, deploying settlements like military tactics rather than simply as housing strategy. The piece is an insightful examination of how power and even violence can be manifest in design, as evidenced by Sharon’s “architecture of occupation”. You can read the full article here.

Shneur House / Yoav Messer Architects

© Amit Geron

Architects: Yoav Messer Architects
Location: HaYarkon Park, , Israel
Design Team: Iftah Hayner, Henly Elor, Laura Hoffman Schaeftler
Area: 185.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Amit Geron

Bulthaup Showroom TLV / Pitsou Kedem Architects

© Amit Geron

Architects: Pitsou Kedem Architects
Location: , Israel
Design Team: Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed, Irene Goldberg
Area: 450 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Amit Geron

House in Ashdod / Israel Zahavi Architects

© Shai Epstein

Architects: Zahavi Architects
Location: ,
Design Team: Yehuda Zahavi, Eliaou Zahavi, Daniel Ohana,Moshe Guez
Area: 450.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Shai Epstein

VIDEO: Peres Center for Peace

Architectural photographer Yohan Zerdoun has sent us this lovely video that explores the Peres Center for Peace, by architects Massimiliano & Doriana Fuksas, in . With a keen eye for detail and an understanding of the building’s human scale, Zerdoun sets up each shot so that the architecture – and its gorgeous context – can be truly appreciated. Enjoy!