Says the architect, "we will continue full-speed ahead." The controversy surrounding Daniel Libeskind’s planned stone-and-glass pyramidal tower in Jerusalem reached fever pitch late last month. Following impassioned objections by groups and individuals, the city approved the plan October 28, but with major changes: officials reduced the height by more than one-third, from 539 feet to 355 feet; ordered the architect to replace the arched arcade around the base with retail businesses that open to the street; and forbade communication devices, such as cell phone towers, above the apex. Ten years were allowed for completion. Asked whether he would stay with
Will the luxury high-rise give Jerusalem's downtown a boost, or create a ghost town? The news that Jerusalem is to have a pyramid of its own, a skyscraper designed by Daniel Libeskind, has elicited mixed reactions. City officials say the stone-and-glass building will help revitalize the city center, and one expert hopes that world-class architecture will be a boon for the area. But critics have voiced concern that the luxury tower—with 200 apartments, a boutique hotel, a restaurant, and a ground-floor arcade of upscale shops—will exacerbate the phenomenon of ghost apartments in the city, that is, apartments owned by residents
The original hotel was completed in 1929. Jerusalem has strict standards for preservation of historic sites, and the Palace Hotel façade has been meticulously restored. The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is a study in contrasts. It is both the oldest and the newest luxury hotel in the city. It has a traditional Islamic façade, yet the most modern and green amenities and infrastructure. Situated in the heart of Jerusalem, the hotel is a five-minute walk from the historic Old City walls. Built as the Palace Hotel in 1929 by the Supreme Muslim Council headed by the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini,
After the International Union of Architects rejected the RIBA's call to boycott the Israeli architects’ association, RIBA set up a committee to look at its own practices. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has decided to set up a committee to consider its own role “in engaging with communities facing civil conflict and natural disaster,” the Architects’ Journal has reported.The establishment of the International Committee Working Group is, in part, a face-saving measure that follows the RIBA’s controversial call to consider a boycott of its Israeli counterpart at the August meeting of the International Union of Architects’ (UIA)
A new archaeology campus designed by Moshe Safdie is under construction on a Jerusalem hillside. The most striking feature of the National Campus for Archaeology is a giant, concave canopy, held in place by cables and made of woven fiberglass-and-polymer fabric. In Jerusalem, the capital of a modern country enthralled by its past, a unique national archaeology campus is being built. The project—commissioned by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and officially named The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel—combines three major components: storage of the national archaeological treasures (some two million items); restoration labs for
Well-known U.S.-based architects have taken issue with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Britain’s leading architectural association, for its political stand against its Israeli counterpart. According to the Architects’ Journal, Daniel Libeskind, Richard Meier, and Rick Bell, the executive director of AIA New York, have spoken out against the RIBA’s decision to seek the suspension of the Israeli association from the International Union of Architects (UIA) “until it acts to resist projects on illegally-occupied land and observes international law and accords.” The motion was presented to the RIBA council on March 19 by the association’s past president, Angela Brady.