Stephen Hodder, the current President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), has spoken out about a “U-turn” following the proposal of March 19th (passed under past President Angela Brady) condemning the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) for its failure to “resist projects on illegally-occupied land” in the West Bank and Gaza. According to BDOnline, the RIBA has “been forced to abandon its policy [...] after an internal report said it should never have been put to a vote in the first place.”
This highly controversial episode, which has overshadowed Hodder’s presidency, has also garnered criticism both in the UK and as far afield as the USA. Architects such as Richard Meier and Daniel Libeskind have stated that the RIBA’s actions have been “short-sighted and appear to be an attempt to simplify a very complex issue.” In the UK, Paul Finch writing in the AJ asked whether there would “be a rush to suspend the Russians because of what is happening in Ukraine? Were the Chinese suspended when they were destroying much of their magnificent built heritage, or invading Tibet?” “Certainly not”, he concluded.
Architects: Ami Shinar – Amir Mann Architects and Planners
Location: Sderot, Israel
Partner In Charge: Ami Shinar
Project Team: Kedem Shinar, Martin Neiman
Client: Israel Rail Co. – Mario Burak, Yigael Kleinman, Eyal Fitoussi, Elena Zubareve
Landscape: Pete Lederer
Area: 3500.0 sqm
Photographs: Albatross Aerial Perspective, Dana Polo, Shay Adam, Gal Deren
The Israeli National Library has released images of Herzog & de Meuron’s design for the library’s new home in Jerusalem. The six-story building, awarded to the Swiss practice over five others following an extensive interview process conducted last year, will be built by 2019 on a prominent site at the base of the Knesset building and adjacent to the Israel Museum, Science Museum and Hebrew University.
More image and information about the new library, after the break.
Architects: Amir Mann- Ami Shinar Architects and Planners
Location: Ramat Gan, Israel
Architect In Charge: Amir Mann
Design Team: Sivan Ravid-Hecht, Associate Architect in charge, Slavik Chokler, Michal Shalom, Hedya Aharonov.
Client: Shenkar College of Engineering and Design: Prof. Yuli Tamir, President; Dror Kave, CEO.
Area: 4250.0 sqm
Photographs: Aviad Bar Ness, Gal Dern
The third episode of Al Jazeera’s “Rebel Architecture” series takes us on a journey through the settlements and roads of the West Bank with London-based, Israeli architect, academic and writer, Eyal Weizman. In the 25-minute episode, Weizman shows the key role of architecture in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and talks about his latest project, Forensic Architecture, which uses damage to buildings as evidence for war crimes.
Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…
Studio PEZ along with Zarhy Architects have won the international competition to design the District Courthouse Complex in Jerusalem, Israel. 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…
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 IAUA 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 UIA 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