THE Palestinians’ new national museum is a striking monument to the state they don’t yet have. Designed by a firm in Dublin, the museum itself is angular and modern, with glass curtain walls topped by smooth white limestone. From afar it looks almost like a low-slung bunker perched on a hill north of Ramallah; inside, though, it is light and airy. A terraced garden stretches out below, filled with dozens of local species...
Only one thing is missing—the exhibits. — the Economist
Besides the thing itself, architecture concerns itself with two kinds of sign about it: iconic signs and symbols. Iconic signs resemble the thing itself. They are the plans and elevations and isometrics. The more symbolic architecture is that of language, the word, the logo and so forth. The postmodern turn shifted the emphasis from the iconic to the symbolic.
I think [Eyal] Weizman has created an architecture about a whole other kind of sign – the index. — Public Seminar
A new museum dedicated to the history and culture of Palestine over the last two centuries is due to open in May next year in Birzeit...In a controversial move, the planned launch date coincides with the 68th anniversary of the Nakba, when the Israeli state was established in 1948 and more than 750,000 Palestinians went into exile. 'The decision to open the museum on May 15 is designed to underline the enduring importance of the Nakba to the museum’s work,' says [museum director] Jack Persekian — The Art Newspaper
I had doubts about accepting this project. I didn’t want to become a pawn for politicians, but the residents gave me a mandate. The public understood that it could act collectively in order to improve its situation - Architect — Haaretz
I’m extremely concerned that if you leave Gaza in the state it’s currently in, you’ll have another eruption, and violence, and then we’re back in a further catastrophe, so we’ve got to stop that,-Tony Blair — +972
His risk-taking real estate is a microcosm of the tumultuous process of Israel-Palestinian peace-making and the web of complex relationships in the occupied territories. — BBC News
They would never discuss issues of repression or land grab directly. There is a certain pact of silence around the political dimension of architecture there. Schools of architecture depoliticise the profession, they put it very much within the domain of aesthetic experimentation — MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
Public space like the plaza in Al Fawwar is mostly unheard-of in Palestinian camps across the West Bank. Architectural upgrades raise fundamental questions about the Palestinian identity, implying permanence, which refugees here have opposed for generations. [...] Camps were conceived as temporary quarters. The absence of public space was then preserved over the years to fortify residents’ self-identification as refugees, displaced and stateless. — nytimes.com
Weizman has also made a name for himself as the chief proponent of “forensic architecture”, by which he analyses the impacts of urban warfare for clues about the crimes that were perpetrated there. To Weizman, buildings are weapons. When he looks out across the landscape of the occupied Palestinian West Bank [...] he sees a battlefield. “The weapons and ammunitions are very simple elements: they are trees, they are terraces, they are houses. They are barriers.” — theguardian.com
it is clear that the scale of damage is unprecedented, with approximately 13 percent of the housing stock affected, five percent of the housing stock is uninhabitable – an estimated 18,000 housing units have been either destroyed or severely damaged.
This on top of a shortage of 71,000 housing units before the Israeli attack. — THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
Several thousand Palestinians, defying the urging of Hamas to remain in their homes, fled areas in northern Gaza early Sunday after Israel warned them through fliers and phone calls of major attacks to come. — New York Times
Riots caused tens of millions of shekels in damage and destroyed the Shoafat and Es-Sahl station [...] Residents of Jerusalem’s Shoafat neighborhood are unlikely to enjoy service on the city’s light rail network for several months as CityPass, the company that operates the system, works first to repair the rails and signaling mechanisms destroyed during last week’s rioting, and only later the stations serving the area. — Haaretz
The city of Jericho sits in the hot, flat Jordan Valley down the hill from Jerusalem. Jericho has bragging rights as one of the oldest towns on Earth. But one of its newest homes looks like it might have arrived from outer space.
Ahmad Daoud hired a firm of young Palestinian architects to build this house. Like Jericho's original homes, it is built of dirt. This one has a contemporary twist, though: It's constructed with earth compacted in bags that are then stacked and plastered over. — npr.org
Earlier this spring, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) passed a motion that demanded the suspension of the Israeli Association of United Architects from the International Union of Architects "until it acts to resist projects on illegally-occupied land and observes international law...
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