Page 36 - Studio International - August 1965
P. 36

Another view of the Shrine of
      the  Book

                              of  Architecture  at  Haifa  and  among  his  best  local   Bartos,  were commissioned,  and  appear to have been
                              buildings is the  Loci  Airport.  Mrs.  Gad was trained  in  influenced by the melodramatic title given to the build­
                              Vienna and  is  currently responsible for  the interior of  ing.  Their  romantic  conception  strikes  a  discordant,
                              the new  Parliament  and the  Hilton  Hotel  at Tel  Aviv.   theatrical note on this austere hillside, beside the simple
                              For the Israel  Museum they have created a complex of  practicality  of  the  main  group.  The  onion-dome,
                              small linked pavilions, asymmetrically placed in relation  covered  in  gleaming  white  porcelain  tiles,  is  too
                              to each other. The exterior pattern is unpretentious and  obviously  an  oriental  quotation,  and  placed next  to a
                              light,  and internally they have  avoided  large,  pompous  massive  black  basalt wall  its prettiness  seems  all  the
                              spaces.  The  exhibition  areas  are  relatively  small  and  more shallow.  This is exhibition architecture, suitable
                              flexible,  admirably  suited  to  the  narrow  range  of the  for a World's  Fair or an art pavilion.  Melodrama is even
                              Museum's  possessions,  making  for  intimate,  easily  more  emphasised  inside;  a  deep  vaulted  basement,
                              comprehended displays.  A belt of high windows pro­  reached  through  Art  Nouveau  arches,  leads  to  a
                              vides  natural  light  without  restricting  wall  space.   spiralled  vault,  no  doubt  intended  to  suggest  the
                               The Museum is divided into two distinct sections; the   Oumran caves.  Portions of parchment are displayed in
                              Bezalel  Museum of  Fine Arts in the southern area, and   fashionable  show-cases,  with  the  most  important
                              the Bronfman  Museum of Archaeology in the northern  exhibit,  the  Book  of  Isaiah,  in  a  central  drum  incon­
                              part.  Both extend  on  what is virtually  a  single  storey,   gruously mounted by a huge phallic column. For manyof
                              although  due  to  the  topography  of  the  site  there  are  the visitors this building will be a focal attraction,  and
                              interesting  changes  of  level.  The  museums  share  those interested in the discovery of the scrolls in  1947
                              common services on a lower level-offices, laboratories,   and  their  subsequent  history,  are  provided  with  an
                              store-rooms,  archives.  Public  amenities  include  an  intelligible  guide.
                              extensive  library,  book  stalls,  restaurants,  etc.   Between  the  Shrine  of  the  Book  and  the  main
                               Quite  distinct  from  this  central  complex,  and  indeed   Museum  lies  lsamu  Noguchi's  garden.  Originally
                              stylistically at variance with it, is the domed  Shrine  of  termed  the  Billy  Rose  Sculpture  Garden,  it  is  now
                              the  Book  which  houses  the famous  Dead  Sea Scrolls.   called  an  Art  Garden  to  satisfy  orthodox  religious
                              It is a pity that the Gottesman Foundation of New York,   opinion  which  objects  to  idols  being  publicly  dis­
                              which donated the building, did not allow it to be part  played in the  Holy  City.  One  of the results is that the
                              of  an  overall  plan  by  the  Israeli  architects.  Instead  more naturalistic nude figures tend to be hidden behind
                              American  designers,  Frederick  Kiesler  and  Armand  solid walls.  Noguchi, a distinguished sculptor who has
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