pg 6 – (q from moshe safdie ) Only originality born in the resolution of truly architectural issues contributes to great design.
pg 6 – Three basic and essential elements constitute this distinction (from other art forms) :first purpose – the manner in which architecture accommodates life; second, tectonic … the materiality of architecture and the technology of the building; and third, place = architecture , unlike many other art forms is rooted in time and place. These are the essential constituent parts of architecture: the means by which we translate architectural aspirations into habitable , durable and vital buildings.
pg 6 – for me, design has been a search to produce a compelling spatial geometry in complete harmony with the formal imperatives of the programme, generated by a cohesive resolution of all buildings systems and naturally rooted in its site.
pg 7 – Unlike other art forms, architecture is always perceived in a physical context. Experientially, the work of architecture and its setting are one. Architecture conceived as an addition to the existing urban fabric is the Sine qua non of urbanism. This is also equally true of architecture set in the open landscape – a building cannot be experienced as in dependant of the land in which it is rooted
pg 7 – A buildings language cannot be resolved without taking a position on the issues of continuity versus disruption, of unity versus dissonance. (continuity of le vaux in the louvre vs wright with the guggenheim). One can either invent based on a recognition of similarities and differences a recognition of what constitutes formal , experiential and cultural relationships in a particular place and time – or once can act as if in a vacuum. for me . the latter involves extreme hubris.
pg 8 – Architecture is intrinsically the product both of a share culture and the ideas of an individual . While teaching, i found myself constantly seeking to distinguish those ideas that can be considered collective concepts, which might form a shared theory of architecture, from those that were intrinsically personal… (we should) judge and react to the multitude of possibility continually present to us.
pg 8 – [obssesion with gardens whilst growing up in haifa overlooking the baha’i gardnes] The glimpse of paradise recurred for me later whenever the ideas of building and garden became one – in Hadrians villas at tivoli and in the garden-building island of Lake maggiore
pg 8 – As cities have intensified, their residents have continued to dream about houses with gardens while living in high-rise apartments. Moved by this plight, I responded with Habitat as a possible modern-day hanging garden – a high-rise city that seeks to satisfy our primeval desire for a garden.
pg 8 – My own attitude have been conditioned by my work in Jerusalem. There for the first time, i was confronted with building a great institution, the Yeshiva Porat Yosef, in the heart oft he historic fabric of the Old City, Unlike the Romans or the Omayyads, Who destroyed and rebuilt whole sections of Jerusalem, i felt awe and respect for the architectural heritage of that place. Could one design a building that belonged there and yet was of today? could one relate to the particular scale, colours and textures of Jerusalem stone, and to the exuberant, soft, feminine forms of the city domes and vaults? Could one do so without mimicking or producing a stage set of the historic.
pg 10 – [relate this to the spine of yad vashem] The alignment of Jerusalem’s medieval markets was established by the Romans and Byzantines through a grand, colonnaded street, the Cardo, that extended from the northern gate to the southern entrance of the city. Along this spine of urban life every major public building took its place…. Such monumental spines and gateways created a sense of procession that was an indispensable part of the experience of both sacred and secular life.
pg 15 – For Safdie, abstraction is a medium for solving the problems of housing a vibrant daily existence, not an end-all means for representing the character of modern living, It is logical too, that Safdies best post-Habitat work signals a more literal return to Modernism repressed Mediterranean influence, inspired by the glowing simple modularties and complex ensemble of Jerusalem
Paul Goldberger Rebuilding Jerusalem
pg 17 – Moshe Safdies work in Jerusalem is less an architectural oeuvre than a saga. A saga that is very much the story of the city itself since the 197 war: a struggle to make a peace between East and West, between modesty and bold gestures, between the past and the present.
pg 17 [link jaffa with mamilla] While he came into Jerusalem believing that a neighbourhood like mamilla, which lies in front of the jaffa gate beside the old city, could be completely reshape, he has come now to be more concerned with weaving together new and old strands of the urban fabric at a scale that relates comfortably to what has come before, as the final designs for his sprawling Mamilla project demonstrate.
pg 17 – If there is anything that can be said about all of his Jerusalem work, it is that it is driven by the desire to balance his reaction to particular conditions of this city with the larger architectural impulses; Safdies designs in response to Jerusalem, but he designs in response to Safdie awell .
pg 17 – Safdies professional involvement with Jerusalem began when he was invited there in 1967 to design a version of habitat (wasnt built) … Taking over the design for Yeshiva Porat Yosef (was his first design) .. Safdies many projects withing the Jewish Quarter … used the glowing Jerusalem stone and echoes the scale and texture of the original buildings of the old city. But their partial half-sphere acrylic bubbles domes, terraces and continual motif of half-round arches made it clear that this was not archaeological architecture committed to replication as the only means of respecting the past.
pg 18 – (talking about the Mimilla project ) The political winds that buffeted the Mamilla project, and delayed its construction for nearly 15 years, ultimately served both it and its architect well. Safdie was wise enough not to fight to preserve the original design; indeed, his own thinking was evolving rapidly at the same time that the project was undergoing public review, and it is fair to say that what ended up being built is less and unwelcome thinking… Safdies chief urban goal was to restore a sense of connection to this area, to open up the valley the form of which has been denied by the pattern of the old neighbourhood.
pg 18 – Safdie ran a major boulevard through the valley, providing and automobile connection between the central business district and the Old City, and terraced up structure on each side of it. On one side the bus terminal is buried under public gardens which themselves serves as a promenade to connect the Jaffa fate with the existing central business district via the new pedestrian shopping street.
pg 21 (childrens and transport memorial) pg 21 – The stunning emotional impact of these memorials renders them different, at least superficially, from safdies other works in Jerusalem. Yet they surely do not emerge from a different view of what architecture is, or what it can mean. Both the memorials, in their intense drama, and the urban porjects, in their search for a viable form of contextualism, are ways of seeking connections, ways in which safdie has tried to make his architecture a part of the large life of the city and , beyond this , to tie it to the history of the Jewish people. The forms may be abstract but the meanin is not . This is architecutre of wholeness, Safdie is telling us – an architecture that aspires to express the fullness of Jerusalem and of the experience of the Jewish people.