Friday, February 19, 2010

Symbolic reflections

Let's continue our walk through the Supreme Court Building.
The benches (near the mosaic) of the previous post are visible in this first photo.

Let the guard thoroughly inspect your bag (or he may use the X-ray machine), answer his questions, walk through the metal detector, and YOU ARE IN.
In 1986 a competition was held and 174 proposals from around the world were submitted.
Israeli architects Ram and Ada Karmi, a brother-sister team, won.
Before creating their design for this new justice building, they reread the Hebrew Bible.
Drawing inspiration from biblical metaphor, they put into play the contrasts of
  • inside and outside
  • old and new
  • lines and circles

In the coming week we will walk through the building and see examples.

For James' "Weekend Reflections" meme, here is a mirror that runs between the floor and the wall in many places of the Supreme Court Building.

One idea of the mirror, here running on the right of the main entrance stairway, is from the biblical book of Amos (5:24):
"But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream."
The stairway resembles an old Jerusalem lane, complete with streetlamps. The floor here is stone, not marble, like a Jerusalem courtyard of 130 years ago.
The wall of unhewn stones (from quarries from every region of Israel, united in one wall), with no mortar in between, reminds us of the walls of ancient Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
The wall on the left is plain white plaster. The new faces the old.
The reflecting mirrors show our contact and emotional connection with the land.
They create the illusion that the building's foundation extends deep into the earth.
This effect recalls the foundations of the Old City of Jerusalem and suggests that the roots of law and justice are also deep.
The panoramic window floods the stairs with natural light.
We are inside but feel outside.
Sacher Park and the 19th century neighborhood of Nachlaot are at our feet.


cieldequimper said...

That's gorgeous modern architecture and the reflection is a fantastic one.

James said...

That is really interesting stuff. I imagine the symbolism could be quite confusing.

Dina said...

Thanks Ciel. It was just about impossible to do justice to the walls in the floor mirrors with a photo.

James, fortunately the in-house guide was excellent. She opened our eyes to the symbolism. But I did have to take notes; there was so much to remember.

Spiderdama said...

Interesting post. I like the window and the reflections.
Wish you a great weekend.

Petrea said...

I'm a lover of architecture. Often I find it's the older stuff that's most pleasing because of attention to these kinds of details. Architecture has subtle meaning whether the architects put it there intentionally or not. It is pure joy to find this kind of thought and artwork in a modern building.

Hilda said...

It's a beautiful building but you really do need a guide to appreciate it even more. The architects really did their research and interpreted it wonderfully!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Dina!

Louis la Vache said...

Your posts, Dina, are so consistently educational and thoughtful. It's always a pleasure for «Louis» to stop by here...

jeannette stgermain said...

No wonder they won -very classy design and very biblical in concept! Thanks for sharing:)

VP said...

A great walking tour of a place so important and full of symbolic links with the past. Your pictures are excellent and your words fascinating.
My favorite images are the one of the recreated lane and the final view on the city. Both wonderful and surprising even on an architectural level.

RuneE said...

I was fascinated by the texture of the masonry - a fine photographic subject by itself.

Tina Liel said...

Shabbat Shalom Dina! What an amazing thought behind the design of the building. You have such an eye for details and I have become better to take a closer look on my surroundings because of you. We live in such an amazing country - we just have to open our eyes and treasures are all around. HUGS♥

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Wow! You are taking us everywhere in Jerusalem! Seeing the security guard had me stop and ask myself, "What do I have in my purse?" LOL!!!


Thérèse said...

Symbolism and architecture hand in hand!
With explanations it's even better.

mbkatc230 said...

What a beautiful building, and the symbolism is such an integral part of it. They certainly made the right choice of architect. Wonderful photos and an interesting post. Kathy

Anonymous said...

"Real" modern architecture executed with passion and respect for people and culture. So rare. Your photos and the story are well executed too.