Constructing a Sense of Place: Architecture and the Zionist Discourse, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Constructing a Sense of Place

Architecture and the Zionist Discourse, 1st Edition

Edited by Haim Yacobi


370 pages

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While it is widely recognized that architects and their architecture play a key role in constructing a sense of place, the inherent nexus between an architectural ideology and the production of national space and place has so far been neglected. Focusing on the Zionist ideology, this book brings together practising architects and academics to critically examine the role of architects, architecture and spatial practices as mediators between national ideology and the politicization of space. The book first of all sets out the wider context of theoretical debates concerning the role of architecture in the process of constructing a sense of place then divides into six main sections. The book not only provides an innovative new perspective on how the Israeli state had developed, but also sheds light on how architecture shapes national identity in any post-colonial and settler state.


’The book is topical and will be essential reading for those who wish to scrape through some of the tough surfaces which coat the role of settlement in the Israel-Palestine conflict. At the same time, it offers important insights into the contribution of built space and the urban fabric for disciplines such as sociology, geography and politics, both historically and in terms of post-modern conditions.’ Wendy Pullan, University of Cambridge, UK ’These…scholarly essays…explain the relationship between ideology and the building, in every sense, of the Jewish Homeland. And they make a good stab at it…A searching, self-critical, and at times partisan, perspective on how architecture has helped to shape Israel and politicised its space.’ Building Design ’The book is on the whole well written…the quality of writing is excellent. The thematic organization works well…Many of the chapters will be enlightening and indeed thought provoking, both for the Israeli, or Near-Eastern practitioner designing modern� buildings in the local context, and for other readers wishing to reflect on designing for diverse populations, as well as for those wishing to learn more about how Israeli architecture and urban design have developed its individual character today.’ Landscape Research ’Given the great variety and subtleness of the chapters and themes this text makes a major contribution to both architectural studies and contemporary social theory…the major theoretical and empirical contribution this book gives will…be important in developing what is a new and ultimately important research area.’ Geografiska Annaler ’…the significance of this volume is in its being a first step towards cracking the monolithic unified idea of place� by understanding its identity as a contested ideological discourse…the book is an important reader for anyone who wants to go beyond binary perceptions of place.’ Political Geography ’…the valuable case

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Whose order, whose planning?, Haim Yacobi. Part I: Reshaping Terra Nullius: Contested Zionism - alternative modernism: Erich Mendelsohn and the Tel Aviv Chug in mandate Palestine, Alona Nitzan-Shiftan; The flight of the camel: the Levant fair of 1934 and the creation of a situated modernism, Sigal Davidi Kunda and Robert Oxman; Mold, Zvi Efrat; Horizontal ideology, vertical version: Oscar Niemeyer and Israel's height dilemma, Zvi Elhyani. Part II: Frontiers: Trapped sense of peripheral place in frontier space, Erez Tzfadia; The political construct of the 'everyday': the role of housing in making place and identity, Rachel Kallus. Part III: Mixed Spaces - Separated Places: Urban iconoclasm: the case of the 'mixed city' of Lod, Haim Yacobi; Planning to conquer: modernity and its antinomies in the 'new-old Jaffa', Mark LeVine. Part IV: Landmarks of Identity: Academia and spatial control: the case of the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Diana Dolev; Re-placing memory, Yael Padan; Geometrical wounds: the work of Zvi Hecker in Israel, 1990 and 2000, Timothy Brittain-Catlin. Part V: Place/Knowledge: On belonging and spatial planning in Israel, Tovi Fenster; Fragile guardians: nature reserves and forests facing Arab villages, Naama Meishar. Epilogue: A moment of change? Transformations in Israeli architectural consciousness following the 'Israeli Pavilion' exhibition, Shelly Cohen; Index.

About the Editor

Dr Haim Yacobi is a Lecturer within the Department of Architecture at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem.

About the Series

Design and the Built Environment

Design and the Built Environment

Urban design is an expanding discipline bridging the gaps between the established built environment professions of architecture, planning, surveying, landscape architecture, and engineering. In this position, urban design also borrows from, and contributes to, academic discourse in areas as diverse as urban geography, sociology, public administration, cultural studies, environmental management, conservation and urban regeneration.

This series provides a means to disseminate more substantive urban and environmental design research. Specifically, contributions will be welcomed which are the result of original empirical research, scholarly evaluation, reflection on the practice and the process of urban design, and critical analysis of particular aspects of the built environment. Volumes should be of international interest and may reflect theory and practice from across one or more of the spatial scales over which urban design operates, from environmental and spatial design of settlements, to a concern with large areas of towns and cities - districts or quarters, to consideration of individual developments, urban spaces and networks of spaces, to the contribution of architecture in the urban realm.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / History / General