Reference : Envisioning the future city through the interpretation of the ‘geographic stage’: Ric...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Regional & inter-regional studies
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography
Engineering, computing & technology : Architecture
Envisioning the future city through the interpretation of the ‘geographic stage’: Richard Kauffmann’s ‘possibilist’ schemes for Afula (1923-1925) and the Haifa Bay (1925-1926)
Fisher, Axel mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > Centre de recherche Lepur >]
Theoretical Currents II
from 05-04-2012 to 06-04-2012
East Midlands History and Philosophy Research Network
[en] In mid-1920s British Mandate Palestine, the German-born Jewish architect and planner, Richard Kauffmann (1887-1958), prepared a town planning scheme for Afula and a ‘preliminary regional development scheme for the Haifa Bay’. The topical relevance of these two experiments stands in the original relations they attempted to establish with the physical environment and the ‘geographic stage’ at a national scale. The chosen location for the foundation of the new town of Afula as an ‘intermediate agro-city’ was the barycentre of the Jezreel Valley, ‘cradle of the agricultural Communities’ and ‘core of the Jewish State’ (Koestler, 1946). Haifa, instead, was to be implemented into a major port city aimed to compete with Beirut on the international scene as the new ‘gateway to the East’, enhancing its local natural resources and features. Both schemes gain further consistency when considered within the wider frame of Zionist settlement strategy in British Mandate Palestine, especially along the Jezreel Valley, where Kauffmann also planned many agricultural settlements. Together, Kauffmann's 1920s’ projects form an early pre-State regional planning scheme. If this first comprehensive expression of the Zionist Nation-Space naïvely neglected the presence of the Arab Other, it did not entail yet the later obsession of Zionist and Israeli planning with military-led territorial conquest. Instead, the dominant theme of this early Zionist vision of the future Nation’s geographical horizon was the building of a new collective identity grounded in agriculture and the reinterpretation of local geographic possibilities: the development of an ‘ancient-modern’ transcontinental route between the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Widely overshadowed by both the official dominant Israeli architectural history and by the emerging critique, this experiment could instead open up to an alternative narrative of Zionist modern architecture and planning and usefully question present-day architectural and planning practice’s 'lost of the centre'.
Lepur : Centre de Recherche en Sciences de la Ville, du Territoire et du Milieu rural ; Faculté d'Architecture - Université de Liège
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Faculté d'Architecture LaCambreHorta - Université Libre de Bruxelles
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