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M+M: Zvi Efrat: The Israel Project

Zvi Efrat, Efrat-Kowalsky Architects

October 1, 2019 · 5:00 pm7:00 pm · N107 School of Architecture

M+M Program in Media and Modernity, Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities

Contrary to popular belief, the architecture and spatial politics of the State of Israel were not born haphazardly out of emergency or speculation. The Israeli built environment is the deliberate response to a unique objective—how to design and build a model state nearly instantaneously. To do this, space had to be remade: a new terrain was molded, and dozens of new towns and hundreds of rural settlements were constructed. Fashionable postwar architectural trends like Brutalism and Structuralism were appropriated as signifiers of national vigor.

The Object of Zionism. The Architecture of Israel is a critical study of Zionist spatial planning and the architectural fabrication of the State of Israel from the early 20th century to the 1960s and ’70s. Zvi Efrat scrutinizes Israel as a singular modernist project, unprecedented in its political and ethical circumstances and its hyper-production of spatial and structural experiments. Efrat explores the construction of the State of Israel in a book that promises to become a standard reference on Israeli architectural history.

Respondent: Nasser Abourahme (Princeton Mellon Initiative)

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