Page C1.1 . 06 April 2005                     
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    Talking History

    by Nili Portugali

    Art and architecture evolved throughout history in societies that drew strength from their cultural and spiritual traditions and from the places they belonged to. These sources, which one might take as factors that separate peoples, are exactly the ones that can link them together in harmony. The same tree that symbolizes life in the Cabala appears in Tantra Asana art; the same red thread the people of Tibet wear on their wrist for good luck is put on baby's pram in the Jewish tradition.

    When religion and nationalism are cynically used by fundamentalists and by extremist groups to delineate cultural conflicts, and when architects are prompted by aggressive political motives, there is a real existential threat to the physical and human environment we live in. We now need a new worldview that, by its very nature, crosses cultures, replacing current conceptions and approaches.

    I designed the Hashomer residential and commercial building, recently constructed in the historic heart of the city of Tel-Aviv, Israel, to form a dialogue between the new building and its historic urban environment in a district that already provided a unique interface between East and West.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    The Hashomer apartments and shops in Tel-Aviv, Israel, designed by Nili Portugali.
    Photo: Nili Portugali

    ArchWeek Image

    The historic context: eclectic architecture of the 1920s and 30s.
    Photo: Nili Portugali


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