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"Engineered Paradises" Takes an Imagined Look into the Possibilities Between Palestine and Israel

“Engineered Paradises”, a thesis by Zarith Pineda from Tulane University, looks into a possible future for Hebron, exploring the condition where peace never comes to the West Bank, but where the mutual destruction of both sides is addressed through the creation of safe spaces for the expression of universal emotions. The thesis proposes that in this way, both parties may be unified by their plight. The project was created based on observation of the city of Hebron and on-site interviews with Hebronites. Their true stories then became the narrative dictating the program of the project. 

10 Highlights from Guardian Cities' "History of Cities in 50 Buildings"

All good things must come to an end, and Guardian Cities' excellent "History of Cities in 50 Buildings" series is sadly no exception, with only a few more left to be published before they hit 50. The whole series is definitely worth the read, bringing in the best of academic and architectural writing from guest authors and the Guardian's own Cities team, but if you're strapped for time - and if you're an architect, it's fairly likely that's true - we've rounded up 10 highlights from the list to get you started.

Amazonas Theatre, Manaus. Image © Wikimedia user Leaderfo Narkomfin Building, Moscow. Image © Wikimedia user NVO Ponte Tower, Johannesburg. Image © Flickr user fiverlocker Byker Wall Estate, Newcastle. Image © Flickr user George Rex

Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture: Episode 3, “The Architecture of Violence”

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…

Ariel Sharon, Architecture and Occupation

In response to the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last week, Eyal Weizman 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.

A.M. Qattan Foundation Bulding Winning Proposal / Donaire Arquitectos

Courtesy of Donaire Arquitectos
Courtesy of Donaire Arquitectos

Last week, Donaire Arquitectos was selected as the winner of the international competition, organized by ArchiFolio, to build the new A.M. Qattan Building, which is a charity that has worked towards the development of culture and education, with a particular focus on children, teachers and young artists. Located in Ramallah, Palestine,  the winning proposal for the Quattan Foundation is perceived as a lighthouse bringing enlightenment to the Palestinian people. This role as flagship of Palestinian culture is in need for a recognizable image worthy to represent its social leadership with a physical landmark. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Proposal by architecture student to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is probably one of the biggest concerns to the world leaders. Although sometimes it may seem that nothing will help solve this crisis, there are still people willing to believe that peace is possible between Israel and Palestine. One of them is Viktor Ramos, an architecture student from Rice University.

Viktor designed this gigantic bridges in which both states can live together. The result is a fantastic example of architectural speculation: genuinely massive – and impossibly cantilevered – bridges used as transport links, aerial housing, and skyborne agricultural complexes, all in one.

More information about this project, here. More images, after the break.