A new exhibition presents the project which won the international Dedalo Minosse prize for architecture - the new National Memorial Hall for Israel’s Fallen at Mt. Herzl.
Since 1997, the Italian Association of Architects has held a bi-annual international contest, Dedalo Minosse, which examines the cooperation between architect and client and the process of turning a vision into reality through architecture. In the most recent Dedalo Minosse contest, more than 50 works from 22 different countries participated, and the international panel of judges included 26 members.
The National Memorial Hall on Mt. Herzl, designed by Kimmel Eshkolot Architects in conjunction with Kalush Chechick Architects, won first prize in the contest. According to the judges: “The National Memorial Hall succeeded in creating a spiritual atmosphere by giving a physical form to life and remembrance.” They noted in reference to the project: “The National Memorial Hall on Mt. Herzl, memorializes for the first time in one place, all the fallen of Israel’s wars.”
The planning of the Hall was designed to allow the visitors a quiet and private space for remembering their fallen loved ones, while at the same time serving as a symbol of collective commemoration. The special architecture of the excavated space within the mountain is surrounded by a light-filled bell made of bricks that opens to the sky in a swirl and floods the mountain’s interior with light. Around the bell, stretches the “wall of names,” accessible by a ramp, encircling the hall. On each of 23,000 bricks making up the approximately 250 m long wall, are memorialized the name of the fallen and their date of death.
From the exterior, the roof of the building mimics the topography of the mountain in soft lines of Jerusalem stone, and blends into the view of the adjacent cemetery. The bell of light hovering above the Hall proved an exceptional engineering challenge. Together with the Israeli army’s best development engineers and ETH Zurich, successful, creative, and innovative solutions were found which seem to defy gravity. In addition to the Italian Dedalo Minosse, the project also won the British RIBA prize along with other international awards .
The new exhibition at the Tower of David Museum presents the planning process of the new National Memorial Hall on Mt. Herzl. The exhibition includes a general overview video with clips from the competition held in Italy and the prize awarding ceremony; presentation of the project itself though a series of photographs and movies describing the planning and building process; and also presentation of the other winning projects in the architecture competition, including those that won special prizes, special mentions, etc.
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