Page D1.1 . 05 December 2001                     
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    Israel's Ambassador in Stone

    by Lili Eylon

    This was to be Israel's first embassy in Berlin, the same city in which, almost 60 years ago, the then-ruling Nazis decided on a "final solution." That death sentence for millions of Jews is now commemorated in six stone pillars at the building's entrance.

    In designing the embassy, the architects were faced with the challenge of finding a symbolically appropriate architectural expression, while refraining from monumentalism. Tel Aviv architect Orit Willenberg-Giladi worked in collaboration with German architect Wolfgang Keilholz.

    The design for the building sought to embody the intrinsic complexity and symbolism inherent in a representation of the Jewish State in reunited Berlin. The idea was to account for both the tragic historic background and the strong positive relations between the two countries, without one dominating the other.

    It was also felt important to create a building that would be unassuming, reflecting the (sometimes forgotten) modest size of the State of Israel. The official embassy and neighboring ambassadorial residence serve as a welcoming space, inviting visitors to participate in the dialogue between Germany and Israel. All this without compromising on the practical considerations of modern office requirements and comfortable dwelling quarters.   >>>

     

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    ArchWeek Image

    Israel's first embassy in Berlin, designed by Tel Aviv architect Orit Willenberg-Giladi in collaboration with German architect Wolfgang Keilholz.
    Photo: Guenther Schneider

    ArchWeek Image

    Main entrance to the embassy.
    Photo: Guenther Schneider

     

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