M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentYaniv Pardo
SubjectOn Production & Representation of Regionalism in the Design
Competition for The Supreme Court Building in
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Dr. Pliouchtch Marina


The research examines the design competition in 1985 for the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem and its impact on the design of Regionalism in Israel. It focuses on the duality of Regionalism and Universalism in connection with the designing of a major public building in Jerusalem within the context of international competition and the examination of its ideological significance. For the purpose of discussion, the study uses Critical Regionalism as formulated by the well-known architectural critic, Kenneth Frampton, in a number of publications at the beginning of the 1980's.


The study examines the competition as a field of unique cultural and multi-influence production on the architectural scene in Israel in the 1980's. The competition is perceived as a text, a cultural site, or distinguished cultural symptom, an analysis of whose components will assist in uncovering the mechanisms and forces influencing the design of architectural trends in the 1980's. The work is focusing, by analyzing the projects submitted, on a study of the way in which participants in the competition approach the definition of the symbolic and ontological qualities of the building, the site and the design. In addition, the research examines how the competition manufactures and grants legitimacy to the tainted ideology on colonialism of the initiating factor, the "client" of the building, called the Yad HaNadiv Foundation.

The argument is that the competition reflects trends that brought about a change in the perception of the term "Regionalism" in Israeli architecture in the 1980's. These are the trends of "Critical Regionalism". In addition, it is possible to claim that the Critical Regionalism reflected in the competition is tainted with a certain kind of intellectual western colonialism.

This study points to the fact that every network of interest in the competition was essentially implemented whenever the special "Regionalism" of Jerusalem is discussed. It also shows how the competition produces a multi-influence model of Critical Regionalism for the design of the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem.