Architectural aspect

Architectural aspect - an article about the construction of the museum

The Jewish Soldier Museum

(From an article published on Ynet's XNET website on February 12, 2012) - Michael Jacobson

The Jewish War Museum, designed to commemorate the heroism of the Jewish soldiers who fought the Nazis (most of them in the Soviet Union), was built next to the Armored Corps monument in Latrun. Its establishment symbolizes the different face of Israeli society and the desire to take a place in the story of the establishment of the state

In Israel, there are many commemorative memorials and museums dealing with war and memory, but the commemoration is not near completion: while the national memorial site on Mount Eitan continues to be built, next year Latrun will open a museum dedicated to the story of Jewish fighters in World War II.

the Israeli memory of the Holocaust, the word "heroism" bears the work of the partisans and ghetto fighters. But not only did they fight the Nazis: about one and a half million Jewish soldiers served in the Allied forces - the Soviet Red Army served about half a million Jews, the British army more than 60,000 Jews, and 550,000 Jews in the American army. In the past decade, the government has decided to burn them in the national memory, through a museum dedicated to its establishment. "With the exception of little mention of the partisans and ghetto fighters, no one talks about the fighters," the organization declares on the website of the future museum.

The Armor Association has set conditions

It is worth noting the location of the museum, in the area of ​​the "Yad LaShiryon" memorial site. The mention of the Jewish fighters in the area of ​​the memorial site commemorates the fallen soldiers of the Armored Corps, placing side by side two aspects of Israel - the old and the new: the myth of the sabra the soldier versus the myth of the exiled Jewish soldier. Indeed, the museum's main goal, which is led by Brigadier-General (res.) Tzvika Kan-Tor, is to present how the Jewish fighter influenced the image of the IDF and has already participated in the War of Independence and the establishment of the army. "Explains architect Haim Dotan, the planning partner," We are talking about dozens of Jewish generals and senior officers who took part in the battles, and this is the first time that their story has been officially revealed in Israel. "

There are those who will see the establishment of the museum, and especially its location, as an example of a crack in the Zionist-Sabra ethos. The museum was originally designed to capture only 120 square meters and to excavate underground, in a manner reminiscent of a bunker, and in time the plan grew and the museum area was expanded to 2,300 square meters on two levels. The Armored Corps did not agree that the new building would be taller than the historic Tegart police building, even one centimeter long, so the museum would rise only five meters above ground, and another five meters underneath it.

Due to the limitations of the Shrionim, the idea of ​​relocating the museum to another site was proposed, with the aim of allowing architectural freedom, but due to the fear that such a move would lead to the cancellation of the project, which encountered difficulties in any case, the architects had to accept the law. "If there was no limit to the height of the building, it would be possible to reach an architectural expression that would become a symbol," explains Haim Dotan. "Once there is a conflict with the history and importance of the Latrun police building, a much more modest and quiet building has developed.

What will visitors see in the new museum?

The Museum of the Jewish Warrior completes the circularity of the Latrun site. Visitors will enter the hall and through it descend underground, in a way that simulates fighting in trenches and bunkers. At the end of the journey you ascend through a mild ramp, located in the natural lighted corridor. The road to the ground simulates the exit from darkness into the light, from the Diaspora past to the future of the State of Israel.

The building has three main parts: a main round structure 30 meters in diameter, which houses a system of exhibition halls. In these halls, the battlefields where the Jewish fighters took part will be presented: the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the ghetto fighters, the camps, the undergrounds and the partisans. Finally, the story of the volunteering of the Jewish community in Eretz Israel and the War of Independence will be presented, with an emphasis on the contribution of overseas Jewish volunteers to the fighting in 1948 and the establishment of the IDF. At the center of the round structure is a 12-meter dome with pictures and ribbons on display, and on the sides are two wings-like wings - the hall is one wing and the other a research and study center. On the flat roof, a "convergence square" was designed to allow for ceremonies and training for groups.

Yaron Meiri of the Orphan Office, which specializes in designing displays, designs the experiential display. He intends to emphasize the experience through "state-of-the-art exhibits featuring advanced technologies, changing backdrops, holograms and touch screens." Strangely enough, the building itself is clad in Jerusalem stone, in contrast to the plastered Modernist Tigard police building. Einat Klein is responsible for the interior design.

The Museum of the Jewish Warrior is being designed by architects Zalman and Ruth Einav, together with Haim Dotan (responsible architect: Avi Arbel). The surprising cooperation between the Einav and Dotan spouses is not only a meeting of generations (Zalman Einav fought in the Palmach), but also a meeting of worldviews, when examining the plans and models, it is hard to find a realization of the potential spark that could have been received from this encounter. They prefer to let other offices with whom they work together, and this is Haim Dotan's office, and perhaps because of this conduct, his unique hand is barely felt Of Dotan in the project.

The Einav family planned, among other things, the private homes of some of Israel's top generals, including Moshe Dayan, Rechavam Ze'evi, Ariel Sharon and Ezer Weizman. At the same time they were involved in planning public buildings, such as the Mathematics Building at Tel Aviv University and the Music Building and the Institute of Jewish Studies at Bar Ilan University. Zalman Einav (85) began his career as a young architect in the "architects' association" founded by Dov Carmi, and independently managed to plan throughout the Middle East and the world - Ethiopia, China, Yemen, Zambia, Turkey, Egypt and Iran. The couple now serve as chief architects at the memorial site in Latrun, where they plan the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration. The building, which will include an auditorium, a museum and a scientific research institute, is slated to begin construction soon.

The Israeli pavilion at Expo 2000, designed by Haim Dotan (Courtesy of Haim Dotan Architects and Town Planners)

Haim Dotan (57) is one of the most prominent architects in Israel, thanks in large part to grandiose buildings such as the Ashdod Performing Arts Center, the Israel Pavilion at the World Expo 2000 exhibition, and the Sammy Shamoon College campus in Be'er Sheva. In recent years he has been working mainly in China, and he is collaborating in another project with the Einav couple: an educational center at the Eretz Israel Museum. This year he published a book of poetry, which we wrote here.

The construction budget is estimated at $ 10 million, the main part of which is financed by the state budget, and a donation of $ 1.5 million granted by mall magnate David Azrieli.