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.
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.
Garden of Nations in Ramallah, one of the first modern public spaces in booming Palestinian capital was meant to become a representation space, where art pieces donated by different countries would coexist. The relatively small scale of the park leads to the inevitable effect of visual overcrowding and competition of free-standing sculptures donated by different national representatives. To minimize the danger of entering into the same logic The Lace is a shadow-maker “glued” to the wall encompassing the park. It allows people to hide from the sun being a sort of tridimensional pocket. The Lace is a steel structure made out of 220 circular modules referring to a decorative Polish folk art motive used for Christmas tree decorations made out straw.
Location: Ramallah, Palestine
Designer: Jakub Szczęsny
Collaborator: Tomasz Gancarczyk
Project Coordination: Barbara Urban, Office of the Representative of the Republic of Poland
client: Office of the Representative of the Republic of Poland to the Palestinian National Authority
Photographs: Barbara Urban and Centrala
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.