The elephant in the Building: The Case of Israel
pg 344 – The question of the relationship between Israeli and Jewish architecture was implict in a remark that Peter Eisenmann made in the winter of 2006 “People in Israel”, he said, “are Not Jew; they are Israelis. For me, a Jew lives in the Diaspora”[[Interview with Peter Eisenman, (by rosenfeld) in December 5, 2006]]
pg344 – Eisenmann points out the differences between Diaspora Jewish identity and the idenity of the Jewish ISraelis.
344 – Translated to the realm of architecutre, this view meant that Jewish architects in Palestine (and later Israel) operated with different priorities from those in the Diapora. Rather than exploring aspects of Jewishness in their work or trying to create a distinctly EJwish form of architecture, architects in Palestine and Israel focused on fashioning “Hebrew”,”Zionist”, eventually, an “Israeli” national style of building
pg 346 – After fending off Arab military attacks in 1947 – 48, the state of Israel had to integrate hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving from war-torn Europe. Functionalist solutions to pressing problems were in high demand, and priority was given to issues of city planning , refugee housing, and infrastructure. Little attention was given to issues of architectural representation. This understandable neglect contribute to the mediocre quality of the nations architecture .
pg 346-347 – The major structures built in this period exhibited little Jewish Character. This is equally true of Joseph Klarweins classically inspired design for the Knesset (1958-55)
pg 347 – [new direction] The rise of postmodernism, with its valorization of history, memory,and identity, sustained this trend as well. Many major projects prusued in this period drew on regional building tradtiions. Moshe safdies mamilla residential devlepement (1972-93) used stone facing, arches, and domes, while his new campus for Hebrew Union college (1976-89) featured stone-clad buildings that surround interior courtyard grace with trellised arcades.