The Urburb

Patterns of Contemporary Living

We are delighted to present a local and extended version for the Israeli Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. At Artpoprt’s gallery we’ve broaden the scope of the exhibition so you can also find additional research materials and short stories that were written especially for it.

The Urburb – a neologism referring to the mesh of the urban and suburban – characterizes the great majority of residential areas in contemporary Israel. The Urburb is a fragmented mosaic composed of the early-20th century garden-city, rural settlements, mid-20th century social housing, and the generic residential typologies of the past two decades.

This hybrid manifests the conflicting demands of the modernist machine functioning in the old-new land: to create small egalitarian communities while accommodating a large and diverse population; to spread throughout the country while converging and closing-in; and to reconnect to the land via a top-down planning system that treats the surface as a clean slate.

The Urburb is more than an architectural phenomenon; it is a state of mind and a form of living. Swinging between two parallel vectors – repetitive actions and fixed formations relentlessly working within a framework that has lost its simplicity, compactness and equality for the inflated and homogenous neo-liberal formations of today.

In order to explore these dynamics, the gallery is transformed into a contemporary construction site furnished with four large sandprinters. The site and the sand-printers delineate the story of decades of planning in Israel, in diverse scales shifting from national master plans to those of the single building. The printers are accompanied by a video and sound piece that transforms the Urbuban patterns and plays them like a music box.

Along side to the printers you can find at the Artport gallery additional materials that allow the visitor to delve into the everyday life of the Urburb it’s surroundings. Using 3D models of generic residential buildings, research materials and four short stories about the Israeli Urburban cities that were especially written for the exhibition are being read by their authors: Eshkol Nevo, Shimon Adaf, Julia Fermentto and Eyal Sagui Bizawe.

The Urburb is a new kind of Urban Suburbia, without a nuclease center but with it’s own rhythm and vitality. These are the all-Israeli “mundane” cities, places without/that lack a sense of holiness or mystery. The exhibition tries to capture what is usually hidden and simultaneously expose the complexities and it’s unique essence that it holds.

During the exhibition we will hold special conferences and meetings

Until 9/5/2015

During the exhibition we will host a few special events:

Patterns of Contemporary Living – On Friday, March 13 at 11AM Artport will host a special panel and tour in collaboration with The Minerva Center form the Tel-Aviv University. We’ll start with a tour of the exhibition guided by on of the exhibition curators, Roy Brand which will be followed by a discussion with Haim Yacobi (Ben-Gurion University), Esther Zandberg (‘Haaretz’), Eyal Sagui Bizawe (Bezalel) and Noam Yuran (Tel-Aviv University).

Street Credibility in Israel’s Urburb – On Friday. March 20 at 12.30PM the Urban Design Master’s Degree Program from Bezalel will hold an open discussion with Dr. Arch. Els Verbakel, Ran Haklai, Shamay Assif, Keren Yaela-Golan and Erez Ella.

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  • Ori Scialom, Roy Brand, Keren Yaela-Golan

    Associate Curator: Edith Kofsky

  • Dates

    March 3rd – May 9th, 2015

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