Most Recent Posts
Browse by Category
An International Convention Center deserving of the nameby michael • August 18 2008
City planning, Municipal news
Extreme Makeover: Binyanei HaUma Edition
The International Convention Center (Binyanei HaUma) is Jerusalem's largest convention center, but as the city lurches fitfully toward its goal of becoming an international business and pleasure destination, a European-style metropolis where worldly sophistication meets old-world charm, the 50-year-old complex of buildings has increasingly proven itself not up to the task. The blah architecture, which could be charitably described as "functionalist," dates back to Israel's early era of socialist austerity, and doesn't meld well with whatever visual statement the Municipality is attempting to make with the Chords Bridge. The interior is not spacious enough to host industry conventions requiring the display of large machinery. Unlike other international conventional centers, the ICC lacks on-site hotel facilities. And it's located smack in the middle of the hot mess that is the road system around the city entrance - easy to see, but hard to actually get to.
The ICC will be enlarged by 30,000 square meters, which will include the doubling of the parking space and three 33-story buildings housing office and commercial space and a hotel of the highest standards - the latter to be built by a private developer at a cost of $100 million. The buildings will also house theaters and cinemas.To be honest, though, when the architect says "for the next 25 years," Jerusalemite gets a little nervous. Sure, he means an ambitious 25-year plan, but given the glacial progress on the light rail, one can easily envision a 25-year construction process instead.
Search Jerusalemite Blog