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UK architects, planners and other construction industry professionals campaigning for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.


Foster & Partners unveils plans for Einstein Museum in East Jerusalem


Foster & Partners' Einstein Museum

The building features an amphitheatre covered in mirrors


Foster & Partners has unveiled the design for the Einstein Museum at the Mount Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The project for the President of Israel, the office of the Prime Minister and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem aims to create “an inspirational centre for learning and discovery” that will document the scientific and cultural impact of Albert Einstein, who bequeathed his personal papers and literary estate to the university.

At the heart of the building will be an amphitheatre focused on a bed of gyroscopic mirrors. Visitors will be able to walk beneath the mirrors through an exhibition courtyard.

The building’s facade will be made up of profiled stone ribs, which will reveal an image of Einstein’s face from different viewpoints.

A model of the scheme is included in this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London.

The project is due to start on site in 2015 with completion scheduled for 2017.


Comments on-line:

  • Its a pity Foster saw fit to carry out work for a country which has a poor record regarding racial and social justice. There have been a number of architects who have refused to work in or for Israel and surely Foster neither needs to money or prestige of such a project.

  • Israel uses its advanced technical and scientific achievements to promote 'Brand Israel' as a democratic state, and as a cover to its decades long illegal occupation of the West Bank. Despite its impunity to the breaches of international law and violation of over 128 UN resolutions, many pertaining to the annexation of East Jerusalem, the West , particularly the US and UK, have continued to bolster Israel, while condemning its frenetic expansion and expropriation of Palestinians land and homes, particularly in Jerusalem. Below Mount Scopus, the Hebrew University, the Palestinian villages of Issawiye and A-Tur, are denied desperately needed land for homes, which have been included in a National Park area, deliberately to exclude them.

    It is lamentable that Lord Foster is adding this architectural bauble to the Hebrew University's prestige,(in addition to the Safra Science centre on the other campus of the university), which contributes to the normalisation of Israel as a centre of learning against the backdrop of a regime that is consolidating its hold over all of the occupied territories, denying the Palestinians a viable state as required in all peace agreements, and ever more oppressive and racist laws being introduced in the Israeli Knesset by the most extreme and right wing government in Israel's history. 

    Albert Einstein must be turning in his grave, as ironically, he did not support political Zionism and opposed a Jewish State based on an ethnic or racial basis. His political views were remarkably consistent and he supported universal human rights. He was opposed to war and chauvinistic ethnic nationalism. He was particularly opposed to Menachem Begin’s and Yitzhak Shamir’s Likud party as “fascist” and espousing “an admixture of ultra-nationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority". The current government of Bibi Netanyahu and his ultra- right coalition partners, are direct descendants of that strain. Lord Foster perhaps should consider that his participation in this project, provides an underserved cover of respectability to such a state.

  • Thanks to Martin O'Shea and Abe Hayeem for two excellent posts. Architects can't do much (as architects) to change the workld because in general, we're forced to follow the money, but at least we can refuse to do certain kinds of work. Foster can afford to refuse projects; he certainly isn't short of cash. Where are his morals?