A tower or a sinkhole?
The strange history of the famous building in Israel
Tel Aviv's skyline is about to change with the construction of the 91-story Spiral Tower, adjacent to the "Peace Center" project - whose infrastructure work is under review due to the formation of the sinkhole in the Ayalon lanes.
The affair raises memories from the conflict that accompanied the iconic towers
Thursday, October 20, 2022, 14:02 updated: Friday, October 21, 2022, 07:44
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The sinkhole that opened in the seam between the Azrieli Center and the Peace Interchange brought to mind the legal conflict that accompanied the establishment of the "Peace Project" (photo: official website, Netibi Eilon Company)
We start with the definition: when it comes to an architectural work worthy of the title "work of an architectural artist", the "moral right" was reserved for the architect, which means: the work must be attributed to its creator (due credit), and no changes can be made to the architectural plan without the consent of the architect who created it.
Please remember this definition when we recall the history of the establishment of the Peace Project, also known as the Azrieli Center, perhaps the iconic building in Israel, certainly in Tel Aviv.
The fact that the infrastructure works at the Azrieli center are being examined in connection with the formation of the sinkhole in the Ayalon lanes, caused us to look back, at the history of the project that turned into a legal dispute between the developer and the architect, a dispute that was finally resolved only after the Supreme Court was required to take issue, in 2007, long after the iconic towers were already a fact exists.
The Azrieli Center is illuminated.
The three towers became an architectural icon that symbolized Tel Aviv (Photo: Shutterstock)
The Tel Aviv municipality has decided in the 1980s on an international tender for the establishment of the largest and most prestigious project in Israel, whose formal name "Peace Center", in the most central place in Tel Aviv, at the most important intersection in the city and in Israel, the peace interchange in Ayalon routes.
The project is designed to be the modern architectural symbol of Tel Aviv, which will become - as it did - the city's icon.
The tender was integrated: the high financial offer for the land and the quality of the architectural plan.
Two teams arrived in 1992 to the final stage in the tender: the veteran construction company "Ashtrom", with architect John Portman, known thanks to the Hayat Hotel in San Francisco.
Entrepreneur David Azrieli has come to the final with Kenny Peace, and with architect Eli Attia, who designed the tower at Avnio Park 101 in Manhattan, the Safra Brothers Tower and the Rifa Bank on the Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Panz Oil Towers in Houston Texas, .
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The late David Azrieli, against the center of the center that carries its name (Photo: Sivan Farge)
Success at Ayalon Mall
The late David Azrieli
enrolled in architecture studies at the Technion in 1944, but did not finish his studies due to unclear circumstances.
He immigrated to Canada, where he became a real estate developer. Azrieli invested in Israel starting in the early 1980s and enjoyed tremendous commercial success, beginning with the Ayalon Mall in Ramat Gan, and later with the Azrieli Mall chain, which today is led by his daughter Dana. The value of the Azrieli Group is About NIS 36 billion.
, a graduate of the Technion, immigrated to the United States in 1968 and gained a reputation as one of the world's experts in the design and construction of tall towers. He was the senior architect in the firm of the well-known architect Philip Johnson, and later founded a prosperous architectural firm. Atia is happy for the opportunity to establish a significant project in Israel and harnessed all the work of his office to the project, including detailed planning.
Architect Eli Atia.
Considered a world -renowned expert in setting up high towers (Photo: Noah Attia)
Architecture and money
In the final stage, drama occurred.
On the long table, in front of dozens of municipal officials and jurisdiction, they were stationed, covered in fabric, two models of the contestants' projects.
The event began to announce the financial offers of the contestants for the field.
Azrieli offered $ 37 million.
"Ashtrom" offered $ 43 million.
When the results of the financial offers were announced and it became clear that the "Ashtrom" proposal was significantly preferable, Azrieli got up and was about to leave the class as someone who admits a loss in the competition.
But then, in the second stage, the architectural proposals were exposed and the models were presented.
The municipal officials and the professional judgment team ignored the Portman Architect's program, and immediately crowded around the model of the Atia architect: a letter Y -shaped mall, with the 3 -tower sessions known today as "Azrieli Towers".
In the vision of Etia architect -a utopian vision must be said -the three towers, which are the basic and different geometric forms of each other, symbolize the three religions living in peace between them: circle (crescent -Islam), square (cross -narrow) and triangle (David -Judaism)
In a particularly rare decision in the tender world, the financial consideration has dropped off the table.
City officials have unanimously decided that despite the financial landings in the Azrieli proposal, Attia's architecture is the clear winner of the tender.
At least, the architecture won the money.
Azrieli as an architect
From the beginning of the contacts between the developer and the architect, Azrieli requested that in the project documents, where the name of the developer is mentioned, Atia would introduce him as "Architect David Azrieli".
Attia, which Azrieli presented himself as an architect, was not suspicious.
In documents submitted to the municipal bodies at the beginning of the project, Azrieli was presented as an architect.
At the beginning of 1992, the journalist Yoav Yitzhak revealed in "Globes" that Azrieli's name does not exist in the database managed by the architects and engineers.
According to the law, when it comes to "uniqueness of operations" (for example lawyers, accountants, engineers and architects) those who are not registered in the register of architects and engineers, cannot be registered as such in statutory documents addressed to the authorities.
Despite the exposure, Azrieli added not only to continue to present it as an architect, but to present it in documents as a partner in the project planning, and as participating in the planning of the commercial and car park.
Following the exposure, Attia refused to continue to present Azrieli as an architect, and rejected Azrieli's additional demand to present him as a planning partner.
Attia's refusal was Azrieli "betrayal".
Azrieli did not pay Attia for the temporary accounts.
Attia's architectural firm has experienced severe economic difficulties, but Attia stood refusing.
The simulation of the spiral tower.
Is about to be the highest structure in Israel (Photo: KPF imaging)
The municipality and the dismissal of the architect
City officials feared that Azrieli would realize the threat to fire Attia, because of his refusal to present Azrieli as a planning partner.
Attorney Yigal Arnon
, the municipality's special attorney general, was asked to create a defense mechanism against her dismissal.
The project. Arnon emphasized: "Azrieli must not be fired." The
municipality announced in June 1992 to grant the project to Azrieli.
A month later, without Attia's knowledge, a new document was born in the municipality that Attorney Arnon, who also provided Azrieli legal advice. The document empties the previous document.
On the last day of 1992, Azrieli sent Attia a notice of his dismissal, and according to the agreement between them was declared arbitration. Azrieli, with the consent of the municipality, Azrieli introduced Attia's shoes his home architect Avraham Yaski.
"I didn't say I'm registered"
The arbitration was held before the retired District Court Judge Hadassah now. Azrieli demanded to recognize that the overall planning was based on his ideas, and especially the commercial area and the parking lot. Attia strongly denied as if Azrieli was a part of the planning
. Tough investigation into the documents presented by Azrieli.
When I was investigated by Azrieli, he said: "An architect is a free profession."
He later said: "Van de-Rho and Corbusier also had no academic degree."
The arbitrator now discovered an forgiving attitude towards Azrieli.
When revealed in embarrassing documents, Azrieli said again and again: "But I did not say that I was a registered architect."
Azrieli argued: "This architect is a free profession" (Photo: Shutterstock)
A word of an architect
Four senior architects submitted affidavits to Attia.
Richard Meyer: "Only Eli Attia can plan the peace center from start to finish."
David Yanai: "The original architectural architect of the architectural artist is alone in terms of the public interest to perform the planning actions. I have no doubt that no self -respecting architect will take on the role."
Jacob Rechter: "If Attia's architect will not be responsible for the planning of the project in the following stages, there is no way to ensure that the result is accepted will be the basis for the decision of the judges. . From other architects. "
David Reznik: "In a project with architectural uniqueness, the development must be carried out by the creator. In the case in question, I do not see the possibility of continuing the planning of the project in its details by another architect, and if it is decided for some reason that Architect Atia will not be given the opportunity to complete the design - it is better to cancel the results of the competition and to invite new proposals from other architects, whose it will be possible to plan the building and supervise it until the finalization."
The arbitrator at the time decided that the affidavits of these four architects and their positions are not relevant.
They did not testify.
"From architect to architect"
In contrast to the rejection of the affidavits of the well-known architects, the architect of Azrieli's house, Avraham Yaski, testified in the arbitration and praised Azrieli as having knowledge in the field of planning.
Yeski did not see any ethical problem in continuing the project planning and reasoned as follows: "Since time immemorial, projects have passed from architect to architect and each one added and contributed from his ability. The Church of St. Peter in Rome passed under the hands of 12 architects, among them world geniuses such as Bramante, Giacondo, Raphael, Senegalo, Michael Angelo and others, and we have not heard of a decline in originality, on the contrary. "
With the pressure of the arbitration, she was given the authority to decide on the question of "cardiac" and the salary that comes to her.
The arbitration award was given on 9.6.93.
She ruled at Etia $ 1.5 million, the amount in the temporary accounts that Azrieli did not pay.
At the time, it determined that Azrieli was allowed to use Atia's plans, and in the place designated for the mention of the designer's name it would be written: "Eli Atia, architect. David Azrieli, partner in the design and planning of the commercial center and the parking lot."
The arbitration stated that Azrieli may use Attia's plans, and even gave Azrieli the Authority to "put changes and adjustments during execution, all within the tender. Azrieli and Attia will not take any steps, legal or other."
Architects at work (Illustration).
Amendment to the 2007 Law, prioritizes the entrepreneurial interest (Photo: Shutterstock)
A big change in front
Azrieli was happy.
He did not waste time and initiated changes in the program, through a Yaski architect.
The list is long and these are some of the changes: the reduction of the central dome in the mall to a third of the size in Atia's plan (the financial savings are obvious).
The entrance cube was changed through pedestrians.
The roof of the mall was planned as a public garden area, with a labyrinth garden and an amphitheater, but the idea was abandoned for other uses.
Change in the composition of the three towers and to increase their area.
Changes were made to the commercial center, changes to the parking lots and changes to traffic at the ground level, including the narrowing of the sidewalks for pedestrians, and the addition of parking spaces at the expense of garden areas.
The municipality approved Azrieli to use one of the hotel towers, as opposed to its original purpose.
The soil level has been qualified from 8.5 meters high to 6.6 meters high (the financial savings are clear).
Azrieli-Yiski's major change in the project concerns the facades of the towers, which are the public and dominant display of each building.
The facades in Atia's original plan are sky blue mirror glass, with the windows varying in size.
Azrieli-Ikki completely changed the fronts of the towers, with equal windows in size.
These days the heiress (daughter of the late David Azrieli), Dana Azrieli, is promoting the construction of the Spiral Tower, the cost of which is estimated at NIS 2.5 billion. The Spiral Tower will be 91 stories high, and will be the tallest in Israel (at least until another developer builds a tall tower The spiral tower will be connected to the peace center (the height of the round tower is 49 stories, the triangle is 46 stories, and the square is 42 stories).
According to the model presented to the public, it is a spiral tower whose facades will be similar to the facades of the three existing towers. The spiral tower is presented to the public as the completion of the peace center project. The new tower planners are the KPF architectural firm from the US and Moshe Tzur.
The municipality is on Azrieli's side
After more and more details about the affair became known, "Ashstrom" and its partners, who lost in the final of the original tender, turned to the District Court in Tel Aviv against the municipality, demanding that Azrieli's win in the tender be canceled and the project handed over to her. Attorney Yaakov Weinroth argued on behalf of "Ashstrom", that Azrieli's win was solely because of the architecture, and the firing of the architect undermines the win.
The municipality stabilized alongside Azrieli.
In the lawsuit, which was conducted before Judge Uri Strausman, "Ashstrom" undertook to carry out Atia's plan and rent it for the purpose of completing the project, so that the municipality would receive another million dollars for the land - and the winning architecture.
"In a project with such an architectural uniqueness," claimed Attorney Weinroth, "there is no possibility that the project's planning in detail will be carried out by another architect.
The disconnection of architect Atia from further planning in this type of project is like an attempt to complete a painting by a world-renowned painter by another painter."
Judge Scheloseman rejected Ashtrom's claim on a technical grounds: "Ashtrom has paid for the filing of the lawsuit, even though the defects in the tender management have been known for a while."
However, Strasman expressed support for Attia's creators.
Video: The morning after the swallow: Ayalon routes opened to traffic, the Tel Aviv rail traffic (corporation)
The material and the wind
Atia, in the name of his moral copyright, petitioned the court through attorney Avigdor Feldman to issue injunctions, to prevent the changes to his original plan.
Several judges dealt with the question, does Atia have the moral right, which justifies obliging the municipality and the developer to build according to his original plans?
Judge Uri Goren ruled that in this case there is no place to issue injunctions on the basis of moral right. Judge Sara Sirota praised Atia's plan, compared it to the Parthenon in Athens, and showed great sympathy for his moral right. She expressed concern about changing the facades of the towers and warned against the developer's interest in discounting The construction, which will hurt Tel Aviv residents.
"I'm sorry to say," Sirota emphasized, "that sometimes the material wins because the wind has no financial resources."
She was satisfied with a recommendation for an accompanying architect on behalf of the municipality, which would adhere to the construction of Attia's plan.
Judge Gabriel Kling ruled that "upon receipt of the payment from Azrieli, Attia remained a claim against Azrieli by virtue of his moral right."
The Supreme Court, in the Judges' composition, Shlomo Levin, Dalia Dorner and Dorit Beinisch, rejected Attia's appeal.
The judges expressed support for the position that the financial value was given to Attia "even for Attia's moral right in the plans."
The Supreme Court's ruling can be said that in fact the concept of "the moral right of the architect" does not exist.
In 2007, a correction was made to the Copyright Law, with reference to the right of the moral creators.
The wording of the law is: "Taking an action in a work that violates the moral right does not constitute a violation of the moral right, if the action was reasonable under the circumstances."
This wording allows for an interpretation in favor of the interests of the entrepreneur and the nullification of the moral right of the creative architect, as if the moral right had fallen and disappeared in the giant sinkhole at the peace interchange.
Every creator, in every field, should be worried.