Herzog & de Meuron wins second competition
for National Library of Israel

| 18 comments

Herzog & de Meuron

News: Herzog & de Meuron has been chosen to design the new National Library of Israel in Jerusalem after the initial competition winner was dismissed over a copyright dispute.

The Swiss firm won out against international architects Frank Gehry and Renzo Piano along with three Israeli architects – Kolker Kolker Epstein, Kimmel Eshkolot and Dina Amar and Avraham Korial.

Entrants to the relaunched competition were not asked to submit detailed plans for the building but instead underwent an interview with the competition jury. No images of the winning project are available yet.

Herzog & de Meuron's appointment comes just four months after Israeli architect Rafi Segal was ousted from the job when one of his former colleagues at the Harvard School of Design challenged his ownership of the winning design.

Bing Wang said she and her company, HyperBina, had worked on Segal's entry and should have been credited for their role when the announcement of the winner was made in September 2012.

Segal, who has has launched a legal challenge against the project backers' decision in the the hope of being reinstated, said he had intended to name the full design team as soon as he had permission to publicise his win. A Jerusalem court is due to consider Segal's claim on 8 May.

Construction recently started on two Herzog & de Meuron-designed projects in Europe – a football stadium in Bordeaux, France, and an outdoor bathing lake in Riehen, Switzerland. See all architecture by Herzog & de Meuron.

Other libraries we've reported on lately include Snøhetta's completed a library at North Carolina State University featuring a robotic book retrieval system and a 3D printing workshop, while a library dedicated to design has recently opened in Seoul, South Korea. See all libraries.

| 18 comments

Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2013 at 2:41 pm by . See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • Will

    Is there a story on their proposal?

  • Avihay

    There is no proposal. The winning entry was cancelled without explanation, and H&deM won based on their ‘reputation’ and not a specific entry.

    • Will

      Thanks, hope to see a proposal on here soon.

  • Lewis

    This is perhaps the proposal http://www.hyperbina.com/Home/Project?shortName=I

  • normaldesign

    Here is the quintessential reading in this regard: http://www.thenation.com/article/174013/trials-ra

  • architect01

    The author of the Nation article is a close friend of Segal. The article is absurdly one-sided. Segal stole HyperBina’s idea and that’s why it was disqualified.

  • Dylan

    The original proposal can be seen here. http://www.hyperbina.com/Home/Project?shortName=I….

    • Dylan

      This author is a friend and also does not even read Hebrew to do any investigation. I doubt the truthfulness of the article!

  • Dylan

    Good choice!

  • Israeli Architect

    After Segal won, a political witch hunt was instated because he is evidently not sympathetic to the Israeli Government’s policies. This was immediately after his name was announced and long before any mention of plagiarism came up. Right wing circles protested vociferously and the Architects Association supported Segal. He is evidently willing to share credit – which should solve any problems of plagiarism, and would remove any reason to cancel his win.

    Together with this, as an Israeli architect I would be delighted to have our national library designed by Herzog and de Meuron, whose work I admire immensely.

    For a building of this nature it is not necessarily bad to choose the architect by interview. That was how Renzo Piano was chosen for the museum in San Francisco. It gave him a chance to participate in the development of the programme, always a problem with competitions. How were Sanaa chosen for the Lens Louvre?

    • jon

      FYI Sanaa was chosen after a competition against Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, Lacaton&Vassal, Rudy Riciotti and Jerome Alzua. They didn’t work on the development of the programme.

  • Israeli Architect

    I have now read the article in the Nation, I do read Hebrew, and every word there is correct.

  • Israeli Architect

    1. To Dylan. I do read Hebrew.
    2. To Architect 01: Every word in The Nation article posted here by normaldesign is correct.
    3. To Dylan: I don’t know Segal and he is not a friend of mine.

    • Dylan

      Have you read the public record to the court? What the Nation says is only limited to less than 1/6 of the overall files. The author of the Nation writes for “close friends” and “family” etc. and he told me Hebrew is Greek to him so he would not waste time to investigate.

  • Dylan

    Two people who write for Segal are extreme leftists and do not have good reputation in architectural circles due to their improper investigation of events.

  • aleks

    Honestly, there is nothing there to say about these kind of ‘competitions’.

    Everyone who has ever worked in such offices knows perfectly well how it works, therefore, being a closed circle of whales, it is not even fair to others to discuss this anywhere publicly.

    Let them share the project between themselves.

  • Reader

    Full National Library Construction Company Response
    (excerpt published on 6 June by the Architects Journal):

    “Rafi Segal, whose competition entry was disqualified for failure to meet the terms of the competition and who was therefore removed from being the “preferred architect”, is now trying to compel his selection through the courts. Notwithstanding his failure to meet the conditions of the competition by way of establishing his full and exclusive rights in and to the plan he submitted, and having conducted himself in ways that have resulted in his loss of credibility in the eyes of the client.

    In December 2012, The Jerusalem District Court denied his request for an ex parte temporary injunction barring the selection of another architect for the project. The evening before the date of the hearing on the request for an injunction, Segal withdrew his petition – following submission of the Company’s reply. Segal also filed a lawsuit asking the Court to declare him the “Winning Architect”. The court denied Segal’s requests to expedite the process and set a preliminary hearing for May 2013.”

  • M Brown

    Weird. In other news, the second place scheme is pretty awesome… http://intelconstructions.com/the-national-librar
    Why was this thing just handed off to H & DeM to charge a ridiculous fee for more of the same? They’re old guard now. It’s past time for something new. The Feilden Clegg Bradley Scheme might have been that something.