|M.Sc Student||Lifshitz Maayan|
|Subject||Arye Dvir: Landscape Architect as a Civil Servant|
Global influence and Local Interpretation
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Nurit Lissovsky|
The thesis examines the influence of Arye Dvir in theory and practice of planning Israel’s national parks. Dvir served as the chief landscape architect in the Israeli National Park Authority (NPA) for twenty-five years (1963-1988), the formative period when the largest and most significant national parks were defined and established. His vision and creativity, coupled with new ideas and skills he acquired in his studies in the United State and implanted into the local landscape, were essential to the planning, policy and management of national parks in Israel.
Dvir’s world view and unique design approach were based partially on ideas that evolved during the 1960’s, new methods he acquired during his studies in the U.S, and the enormous influence of Lawrence Halprin and Ian McHarg, two of the leading American landscape architects of the modern period whom he worked and studied under. Other influences are a result of his, experience and acquiring knowledge during his work at the NPA. The combination of ideas and tools he imported from the U.S with his local interpretation was implemented in his work and had a huge contribution to the planning and management of Israel’s national parks.
The research questions discuss the influences that shaped Dvir’s approach in designing Israel’s national parks. Some influences reflect new ideas the evolved during the 1960’s. Others are linked to Dvir’s studies in the U.S, especially Lawrence Halprin and Ian McHarg’s
1. How did modern American landscape architecture theory influence Dvir’s world view and his design approach?
2. What are the characteristics that define Dvir’s work and make it unique?
3. In what way did Dvir influence the landscape of Israel’s National Parks?
The methodology used in this research is qualitative: study of plans and documents, critical interpretation of archival textual and visual resources, in-depth interviews with Dvir and others, and a comparative discussion of three case studies, that are examined using a framework that illuminates unique repetitive characteristics of each of the cases.
The case studies that were chosen are: Route1 form Sha’ar Ha’gay to Jerusalem, the first project Dvir planned upon his return to Israel; the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, a project most identified with Dvir that represents the transition between the first and second decades of his work; and the Carmel National Park, which represents his late work in the transition between the second and third decades.
The case studies are different in program, perimeter, conditions, contents and use, but all represent Dvir as an innovative landscape architect, who aspired (and succeeded) to enlarge the physical boundaries of national parks in IsraelHe achieved it in a methodical and logical way, both on macro and micro levels, while using his design abilities, and systematic planning thinking.
Research on Israeli Landscape architects is scarce. The contribution of the research, therefore, is in two perimeters: On one hand it presents an in-depth discussion on Dvir’s work as a representative of a generation of landscape architects that studied abroad and returned to help shape Israel’s landscape. Such a study can encourage other research of landscape architects and their contribution in making and re-making the Israeli landscape, analyzing the work in an historical, political and social context which they were created On the other hand, the research emphasizes Dvir’s special character as a “courier of ideas and knowledge”, a visionary person that was ahead of his time: in his attitude towards landscape complexes, his perception towards man and nature environment, and the recognition that a national park should be used for leisure and recreation, as well as for preservation of natural, historical and heritage values.