• The Object of Zionism: The Architecture of Israel
    Zvi Efrat
    Spector Books, 2018
    Zvi Efrat

Philip Johnson, Research Nuclear Reactor, 1956-59, Soreq, Israel.

This extensive research investigates the fabrication of the date of Israel as a unique project in modern history: unprecedented in its relative scope and rates of growth (Israel has doubled itself ten times in a span of fifty years); in its ideological and visionary roots (a mix of utopian, physiocratic, biblical, and Orientalist drives); in the circumstances of its realization (construed as a shelter for some while turning others to refugees); and in its concentration of architectural experiments (Israel is an intense "laboratory" of post-war trends, especially of structuralism and brutalism). The grounding argument of the research is that contrary to common belief, the state of Israel was not born of haphazard improvisation, emergency solutions, or speculative entrepreneurship, rather of the unprecedented objective to put into practice one of the most comprehensive, controlled, and efficient architectural experiments in the modern era.

Zvi Efrat, architect and architectural historian, was head of the Department of Architecture at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2002–10), and partner at Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, since 1995. He studied at Pratt Institute (professional degree), NYU (MA in cinema studies) and Princeton University (MA and PhD studies in the history and theory of architecture). He has taught at several universities, lectured worldwide, published extensively, curated numerous exhibitions, and served as a juror in major local and international competitions. His book The Israeli Project: Building and Architecture 1948–1973, was published in Hebrew in 2005 by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The office of Efrat-Kowalsky Architects specializes in the design of museums and in adaptive reuse of existing structures. Among the office's recent projects is the renewal and expansion of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.