A host of celebrated architects including Will Alsop, Terry Farrell, Richard MacCormac, Rick Mather and Ted Cullinan have waded into the politics of the Middle East with a challenge to fellow professionals in Israel to cease work that “excludes and oppresses” Palestinians.
The architects, who also include Royal Institute of British Architects(RIBA) president Jack Pringle and president-elect Sunand Prasad, have signed a petition organised by Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine which accuses construction professionals working on three separate Israeli developments of “social, political and economic oppression.”
“APJP asserts that the actions of our fellow professionals working with these enterprises are clearly unethical, immoral and contravene universally recognised professional codes of conduct,” a spokesman said.
“We ask the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) to meet their professional obligations … to declare their opposition to this inhuman occupation.”
The IAUA was unavailable for comment, but the action was condemned as foolish and damaging by Michael Peters, founder and chairman of the Identica brand agency, who has worked extensively with architects in Israel.
“British architects are going to burn their bridges with a number of developers — Israeli, British and European,” he said.
Last year Richard Rogers faced stinging criticism from US clients after he hosted a meeting of APJP (News March 10, 2006).
“I think the Palestinians are living in a prison and they deserve better than that,” he said. “I’d like fellow colleagues in Israel to feel some responsibility about this shabby treatment. Architects are a fairly humanitarian lot and perhaps they could help.”
Petition organiser Abe Hayeem, a London-based architect and APJP chair, called his fellow architect supporters “pretty courageous”, and insisted architects would not be deterred from backing causes they supported.
But Peters said British architects did not understand the situation in Israel.“Getting involved in a lobby group can only do a disservice to the whole architectural profession,” he added. “To accuse [Israeli] architects of being complicit is nonsense.”
Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law and the Geneva Convention, and Maale Adumim, its largest settler city stands out as the key factor in Israel’s colonial expansion as far west as possible from Jerusalem towards Jericho. Most of Maale Adumim (87%) is built on Palestinian-owned land. Maale Adumim was planned by the Thomas Leitersdorf (AA dipl) and designed by Elioar Barzacchi (the Mother of Maale Adumim) in the 1980s as the chief architect for the Jerusalem district at the Construction and Housing Ministry which created and is still creating facts on the ground that thwart negotiations on the city's future and is causing infringements of the rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and implementing a policy of occupation and annexation, land confiscation, discrimination and expulsion. The "empty" hills of Ma'aleh Adumim were not empty and "Mohammed" was indeed told to get up and go, like all the members of the Jahalin tribe that is now forced to live in the area of the Abu Dis garbage dump, as journalist Gideon Levy recently wrote.
The police station for E1 has already been built despite its land confiscation and illegality, and the road network and street lights have also been built in readiness for the new housing near that land.
We call in Israeli architects and planners to end their indifference and blindness to the political implications of their professional work and ethics. They should recognize their complicity in the injustices resulting from their participation in consolidating the Occupation, and the terrible suffering being inflicted on the Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank. We call on all parties to halt this illegal project forthwith , as required by the International Court of Justice in its ruling on the Wall in 1994.
Charles Jencks : Architectural Historian, Writer and Critic, UK/USA.
Ted Cullinan, CBE, RA : Edward Cullinan Architects, UK.
Will Alsop RA, OBE : Principal SMC William Alsop, Winner Stirling Prize 2000, UK.
Zvi Hecker : Architect, Germany/Netherlands/Israel.
Sir Terry Farrell: Principal Terry Farrell Partners, UK.
Sir Richard MacCormack : Partner MJP Architects, Former RIBA President, UK.
George Ferguson: Acanthus Ferguson Mann Architects, Former President RIBA
Jack Pringle : RIBA President Elect, UK.
Sunand Prasad: Principal Penoyre Prasad Architects, RIBA President Elect, UK.
Eva Jiricna : Principal Jiricna Architects, UK.
Rick Mather : Principal Rick Mather Architects, UK.
Abe Hayeem : Architect, APJP Chairman, UK.
Eyal Weizman : Author ‘A Civilan Occupation’, Director Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmith’s College, UK/Israel.
Paul Hyett : RIBA President 2001-2003, UK.
Hans Haenlein : Principal Hans Haenlein Architects, UK.
Neave Brown : Artist and Architect of Alexandra Road, UK.
Robin Nicholson : ECA architects, UK.
David Levitt : Architect Levitt, Bernstein, UK.
Tom Kay : Architect, UK.
Jeff Halper : ICAHD Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Israel.
Malkit Shoshan : Director of Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST), Netherlands/Israel.
Shmulik Groag : Director, BIMKOM, Israel. (E1, Silwan)
Cezary Bednarski : Principal Studio Bednarski, UK/Poland.
Professor Nasser Rabat : Aga Khan Professor, MIT, USA.
Professor Mike Davis : Author ‘City of Quartz’, Professor University of California Davis, USA.
Professor Saskia Sassen : Author ‘Cities in a World Economy’, University of Chicago, London School of Economics, USA/UK.
Suad Amiry : Author, Founder and Director of RIWAQ, Centre for Architectural Conservation, Palestine.
Beatriz Maturana : Principal Archimage, President and Founder of Architects for Peace, Australia.
Eitan Bronstein : Director of Zochrot, Israel.
Uri Davis : Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter, IAIS, Founder of Al-Beit, Israel.
Professor Samer Akkach : Director Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture, Adelaide, University, Australia.
Professor Zvi Efrat : Department Head, Architecture Department, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, Israel.
Professor Derek Gregory : Distinguished Scholar, Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia, Canada.
Professor Neil Smith : PhD Johns Hopkins, Distinguished Professor CUNY Graduate Center, USA.
Osama Hamdan : Conservation Architect and Lecturer, Al Quds University, Palestine.
Professor Haim Bresheeth : Filmmaker, Photographer, Chair of Media and Cultural Studies, University East London, UK/Israel.
Professor Bob Tavernor : Director of Cities Program, Architecture and Urban Studies, London School of Economics, UK.
Dr. Gaetano Palumbo : Institute of Archaeology, University College London, UK.
Professor Oren Yiftahel : Professor of Geography, Ben Gurion University, Israel.
David Tartakover: Graphic Designer, Israel Prize Laureate for Design 2002, Israel.
Mario Coyla : Professor, Architect and Urban Planner, Cuba.
Lynda Thorne : EU Environmental Consultant, Romania.
Ian Martin : Building Design Magazine, UK.
Louis Hellman : Architect and Cartoonist, UK.
Robert Bevan : Author ‘The Destruction of Memory’, UK.
Dr. Jim Berrow : Architectural Historian, UK.
Arad Sharon : AA dipl, Director Arieh Sharon, Eldar Sharon Architects & Town Planners L.T.D, Israel.
Georgeann B. Burns Assoc. AIA : Principal, RTKL Associates, Inc., USA.
Gail Waldman : Waldman-Jim Architects, UK.
Ceridwen Owen : Architect, Lecturer in Architecture, University of Tasmania, Australia.
Karen McWilliam : Architect, Lab Architecture, Australia.
Raphael Sperry AIA : Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, Green Architect, USA.
Claudia Bloom : Director, Avanti Architects, UK.
Michael Safier : Planner, Bartlett College, University College London, UK.
Junko Iwaya : Architect, Japan.
Professor Bas Molenaar : Healthcare Architect, Netherlands.
Aurore Julien : Renewable Energy Consultant, UK.
Charles Dunnett : Dunnett Craven Ltd., UK.
Ross Ramus: RAIA Ramus Architects,USA.
Mikolaj Kadubowski: Partner GRUPA 5 ARCHITECTS, Warsaw.
Mungo Smith: Director of MAAP Architects, London.
Susan Francis: Special Advisor on Healthcare, CABE, London.
Mark Kubaczka, Dyrektor , artchitecture sp zo o, Warsaw.
Liane Friedrich : Architect, Brazil.
Prof. Hennu Kjisik: Architect, Finland.
Derek Stow OBE: Architect, London.
Professor Irene Bruegel : Planner, London South Bank University, UK.
Dace Kalvane: Aplus architects, Latvia.
Frank de Marco : Architect UK.
Douglas Carson : Eric Parry Architects.
Francesca Viceconti: Architect, Italy.
Martin O’Shea: Architect, UK.
Salim Jaleel: Architect, UK.
Haifa Hammami: Architect, APJP Secretary, UK.
Michael Gwilliam: Architect, UK.
Clive Jones: Architect, UK.
Mike Macrae: Architect, UK.
Joanna Chambers: Planner, UK.
Jeremy Dain: Architect, UK.
Phil Gusack: Architect, UK.
Malcolm Hecks: Architect, France.
Walter Hain: Architect, UK.
Kate Mackintosh: Architect, UK.
Joe Lynes: Architect & CPT, Palestine.
Nadia Habash: Architect, UK.
Zahira Nazer: Urbanist, UK.
Sidney Bernstein: Architect, UK.
Shaqir Safian: Architect, UK.
J. Waller: Architect, UK.
Paul Barham: Architect, UK.
Geoff Haslam: Architect, UK.
Terry Meade: Architect, Brighton University, UK.
Martin Crookston: Architect, UK.
Alan Arnstein: Architect, UK.
Tarek Ragheb: Architect, UK.
Gil Doron: Artist, UK/Israel.
John Murray: Architect, UK.
Nicholas Wood: Architect UK/South Africa.
Keith Cowling: Architect, UK.
Jake Brown: Architect, UK.
Steve Fox: Architect, UK.
Keith Hallett: Architect, UK.
Adrian King: Architect, UK.
John Hodge: Architect, UK.
Omar Qattan: Qattan Foundation, UK.
Issa Sarie: Architect, UK.
Wade Sowman: Planner, New Zealand.
Alon Cohen Lifshitz: BIMKOM, Israel.
Jose Vilar: Architect, USA.
D. Shah: Architect, UK.
Samir Srouji: Architect, USA.
M. Azhar: Architect, UK.
Stefano Ferrari: Architect, UK/Italy.
Fahmi Salameh: Architect, Palestine.
Ray Bowden Architect, UK.
Vassilis Ierides: Architect, Greece.
Khaldun Bishara: Architect, Palestine.
Steve Kessel: Architect, UK.
Javiera Maturana: Planner, Australia.
Yaron Turel: Architect, Israel.
Orna Shatil: Architect, Israel.
Frederico Zaidan: Architect, Brazil.
Shelly Roberts: Architect, Australia.
Ed Hall: Architect, UK.
Tim Bruce Dick: Architect, UK.
M. Azhar: Architect, UK.
Hasan A. Hammami, USA.
Eleanor Chapman: Australia.
Nadia Piette: Netherlands.
Ivar Leivestad: Australia.
Merinda Hall: Australia.
Racheli Bar Or: Israel.
Walid Issa: USA.
Julian Rutt: Australia.
Nadine Samaha: Australia.
Susan Mellersh Lucas
Rand el haj Hasan
Tariq Z. Khayyat
Jalal El Ali
MJ Bissan: Sculptor
Hugo David Moline
Roger Rajaratnam: Australia.
Kim Roberts (Lifta)
Alif Nadya Inniar Rosa
Noor Tibi (Lifta)
Yasid Abed Rego
Giselle Benitez: Planner, New South Wales, Australia.
Rory Toomey: Architect, Australia.
Sarah Bridges: Australia.
Mohammad Abdlah Said Abdallah
Osman M. Elkheir
Sulaiman M. Aqel
Fatimah Mohammed (Lifta)
Farhat Y. Muhawi (E1)
Brazilian Palestine Interest Committee (Lifta)
Nour Salman (Lifta)
Paul Ballora: Paul Balora Architects.
Abder Ghouleh: USA.
Sulaiman M. Aqel
Mathew Bond, Australia.
Sami B Suriyisami
Stephen Hyland: Planner PGDiptp MRTPI.
James Charles Jameson: Australia.
Tony Horan (E1)