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Israel | 14th Architecture Biennale

Place: Venice, Country: Italy
curator-Exhibitors: Ori Scialom, Roy Brand, Keren Yeala-Golan
associate curator: Edith Kofsky
Text and photos by Riccardo Bianchini, Inexhibit
Additional photo by Bruno Cordioli

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Photo by Bruno Cordioli

The UrbUrb
Pavilion of Israel

The exhibition at the Pavilion of Israel at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, entitled “The UrbUrb” depicts the history of urbanization of the Country in the last century. The approach to modernity in Israeli urban development coincided with the  “Sharon Plan”, commissioned by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion just after the foundation of the new State in 1948, which envisaged the creation of over 400 small and mid-sized towns across the whole territory of the newly-constituted State of Israel. Despite being not completely successful in its objective to disperse the rapidly growing population of Israel in such grid of rural communities, the plan gave birth to what is now known as “UrbUrb”, a mixture of urban and sub-urban settlements that still is the most diffused residential model in the Country. To express such concept, and specifically the conflict between modern planning and an old land treated like a clean surface, the curators have build up a fascinating installation, where four plotters continuously print urban patterns and building plans on sand.

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Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014
Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014 is an invitation to the national pavilions to show, each in their own way, the process of the erasure of national characteristics in architecture in favor of the almost universal adoption of a single modern language and a single repertoire of typologies – a more complex process than we typically recognize, involving significant encounters between cultures, technical inventions, and hidden ways of remaining “national”.


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