Israeli architects' fury as Chipperfield fast-tracked in competition
Call to scrap National Library contest as architects claim ‘humiliation’
David Chipperfield has been caught up in a wave of anger among Israeli architects who claim they have been humiliated by the organisers of a prestigious competition.
Chipperfield’s is one of eight practices that have been invited straight on to the longlist for the new National Library building in Jerusalem. Other contenders must go through a first-round selection process.
Local architects are outraged and have called for the entire competition to be scrapped and started again. A petition has already attracted more than 140 signatures.
Arad Sharon, who helped set up the petition, told Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “The terms of the competition constitute a death blow for the architectural sector. This is a colossal humiliation.”
The organisers, the National Library Construction Company and Rothschild foundation Yad Hanadiv, invited eight practices straight to the second round of the competition.
They are David Chipperfield, Shigeru Ban from Japan, the US firms Moshe Safdie and Bohlin, Cywinski & Jackson, plus Israeli architects Chyutin, Ada Karmi-Melamede, Mayslits-Kassif and Carlos Prus.