Article - Architecture in Israel
ARCHITECTURE in ISRAEL
The appearance of a series of stamps devoted to Israel architecture is an event of great interest not only to the philatelist but also to all those interested in the history of Jewish settlement in Israel. At some future date it might well be advisable to complete the picture by issuing further series illustrating buildings erected prior to the creation of the State. It is obviously not possible, within the scope of one short series of stamps, to illustrate all the different trends in Israel architecture since the establishment of the State. What we have been given, however, are excellent examples of buildings of outstanding architectural and artistic value which have been put up since 1948, beginning with the Synagogue on the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (which was completed in 1957) and finishing with the Amal technical high school (finished in 1972). It is interesting to note that the series includes not only the work of those veteran Israel architects associated with the very beginnings of modern Israel architecture, but also that of younger practitioners who entered the field only after the creation of the State.
HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM - RABBI DR. I. GOLDSTEIN SYNAGOGUE
The Synagogue of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which was designed by David Reznick and the late Heinz Rau was finished in 1957 and was awarded the Zeev Rechter Prize for architecture in 1965. Heinz Rau was one of the country's outstanding architects and was noted for the clarity and polish of his style combined with a professional integrity which are reflected in this excellent example of his work.
BAT YAM - CITY HALL
The late Alfred Neuman was known for his original conceptions and his architectural approach which found expression in this unique building the Bat Yam Town Hall which he designed in collaboration with two of his disciples - Zvi Hecker and Eldar Sharon.
TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY - ELIAS SOURASKY LIBRARY
The Tel Aviv University library building which was completed in 1968, was designed by Michael Nadler, Samuel Bikson and Shulamit Nadler and was awarded the Municipality of Tel Aviv's Rokach Prize in 1970. The building is a perfect example of the school which stresses the importance of achieving a delicate balance between all the elements of a structure. This balance is given expression in the relationship between the ground floor and the main library area which seems suspended in midair above it. Mivtahim's Guest House at Zikhron Ya'aqov, designed by the architects Jacob Rechter, Moshe Zarhi and Moshe Peri, was completed in 1969 and was awarded the Israel Prize in 1973.
YAD MORDECHAI MUSEUM
The museum at Yad Mordechai, designed by Arye and Eldar Sharon, was completed in 1970. This museum which surprises one by the perfection of its conception, perpetuates the memory of the defenders of Yad Mordechai during the War of Independence and the heroic fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto after whose commander the kibbutz was named.
LADY DAVIS TECHNICAL CENTER "AMAL', TEL AVIV
The Amal technical high school, completed in 1972, was designed by Ram Karmi who gained first prize for his design in a national competition held in 1966. The school is an outstanding example of architectural dynamism achieved through combining contrasting elements - free expression in three dimensions, on the one hand, and a set of well-defined geometric forms on the other.
This stamp issue is not intended as a considered judgement on which are "the best and most beautiful buildings in Israel." That is a verdict which has to be handed down by the public who use the buildings, by professional architects and artists and by history itself. The series represents no more than a first excursion into the subject; it neither claims to be, not can it be considered as a scientific cross-section; nonetheless, it does its best to cover as extensive a field as possible by giving examples of a synagogue, Town Hall, library, guest house, museum and school.
The six stamps depict the "Amal" Technical School; Tel Aviv University Library; "Mivtahim" Rest Home; Hebrew University Synagogue; Yad Mordechai Museum; and Bat Yam City Hall. The tab for each stamp depicts a cross-section of the building.