100 Years of Planning and Building in Palestine and Israel (1918–2018)

100 Years of Planning and Building in Palestine and Israel (1918–2018)


Innsbruck, April 11 – 12, 2018
Deadline: Dec 15, 2017

Universität Innsbruck / Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture, Technische Universität Braunschweig / nstitut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg

Evening lecture on April 11, 2018: Ita Heinze-Greenberg, Zurich: Zionism and Modernity

After the signing of the Armistice of Mudros on October 30, 1918, Great Britain and France occupied their territories according to the Sykes-Picot Agreement. Palestine remained under international administration until April 25, 1920, when at the San Remo conference Great Britain was assigned with the mandate for Palestine. Part of this mandate involved the realisation of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, in which Great Britain undertook to favour the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. Even if Jewish settlements had already been established during the First (1882–1903) and Second Aliyah (1904–1914), amongst them the founding of Tel Aviv in 1909, the British mandate marks the beginning of a different culture of planning and building – and the beginning of a specific Palestine-Israeli architectural history.

Throughout the last decades, research on this architectural history was carried out under several aspects, for the most part on the development of Jewish settlements and the Jewish state. The early phase of Zionist settlements has been described by Ita Heinze-Greenberg (Europa in Palästina 1902–1923. Die Architekten des zionistischen Projekts. Zurich 2011) and by Ines Sonder, who focussed on urban planning (Gartenstädte für Erez Israel. Zionistische Stadtplanungsvisionen von Theodor Herzl bis Richard Kauffmann. Hildesheim 2005). The biographical encyclopedia by Myra Warhaftig (Sie legten den Grundstein. Leben und Wirken deutschsprachiger jüdischer Architekten in Palästina 1918–1948. Tübingen, Berlin 1996, English edition 2007) touches the following period, concentrating mainly on German-speaking architects. Monographic studies on individual architects, planners and / or cities have been published e.g. by Nitza Metzer-Szmuk (Des maisons sur le sable. Tel Aviv, mouvement moderne et esprit Bauhaus. Paris 2004), Gilbert Herbert and Silvina Sosnovsky (Bauhaus on the Carmel and the Crossroads of Empire. Jerusalem 1993), and Baruch Ravid (Joseph Tischler. Architect and Town Planner in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv 2008), while until now only Anna Minta has questioned the architectural expression of national identity (Israel bauen. Architektur, Städtebau und Denkmalpolitik nach der Staatsgründung 1948. Berlin 2004). Recently, Jeremie Hoffmann and Hadas Nevo-Goldberst have published a volume on brutalist architecture, which calls attention to a long neglected chapter of Israeli architecture (The Brutalist Style in Tel Aviv-Yafo, 1948–1977. Tel Aviv 2017).

The Universität Innsbuck, the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture, TU Braunschweig, and the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg, are currently preparing a research project on the transfer and exchange processes of architectural culture (with) in Palestine / Israel and on the formation of a national Jewish identity. Which planning strategies taken from Europe or the United States were used? Were those planning strategies adapted to local conditions, e.g. climate, topography, society, and in which fashion? Where did the architects and planners come from and where did they get their professional training? Which architectural ideas and concepts did they bring to Palestine / Israel, and how were they further developed ?

The Study Day in April 2018 is intended as a kick-off meeting for this project. Its possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

– Planning and Building in Palestine in the late Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate – The Heritage of »Modernism« – Building a New State. Architecture and Urbanism – Symbolism and Remembrance in Israeli Architecture since 1948

Please send an abstract of not more than 2,000 characters (including spaces) for a 20-minute presentation in English and a current CV with affiliation to both the organisers Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Tragbar (klaus.tragbar@uibk.ac.at) and PD Dr.-Ing. habil. Ulrich Knufinke M.A. (ulrich.knufinke@igdj-hh.de) by December 15, 2017. Applicants will be notified of the organisers’ decision by December 22, 2017.

Funds will be available for travel and hotel costs. The accepted papers may be considered for publication in a forthcoming edited volume.

Universität Innsbruck
Unit for History of Architecture and Preservation of Monuments Technikerstraße 21
6020 Innsbruck (Austria)

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Planning and Building in Palestine and Israel (Innsbruck, 11-12 Apr 18). In: ArtHist.net, Nov 12, 2017. <https://arthist.net/archive/16707>.