Derek Matus ‘12: Architecture and Identity: Moshe Safdie’s Ben Gurion Airport

Session: Jewish Identity: Influences and Reflections- MBH 216 at 3:30 p.m. from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Jennifer Hock, History of Art & Architecture
Major: History of Art & Architecture/Studio Art

My presentation will discuss the construction of cultural identity in contemporary architecture through the work of Moshe Safdie in his native Israel. I will examine the various influences on his practice, from the tradition of vernacular, Islamic architecture that has developed in Palestine for centuries, to European Modernism introduced by 20th century Jewish immigrants, as exemplified by the Bauhaus movement in Tel Aviv, and relate them to the contemporary discourse of critical regionalism. Specifically, I will refer to Safdie’s theoretical work and his project at Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion, Israel’s principal international airport, to analyze how the architect has constructed an experience that approaches the complex issue of a unified Israeli identity.

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