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Chipperfield caught up in row over ‘humiliating’ Israel library shortlist

Israeli architects have condemned organisers of a high-profile contest for fast-tracking international studios – including David Chipperfield Architects – to its second round

Eight companies were invited to the ‘longlist’ stage of the contest to design a new National Library building in Jerusalem (pictured) including four Israeli studios and four international practices.

The international companies are: David Chipperfield Architects; Japan’s Shigeru Ban and Bohlin, Cywinski and Jackson and Moshe Safdie from the United States. The Israeli practices are Chyutin, Ada Karmi-Melamede, Mayslits-Kassif and Carlos Prus.

Other local companies may compete in the competition’s first round but only four first round entries will be selected to compete with the invited architects in the later stage.

Israeli architects hit out at competition organisers Yad Hanadiv and the National Library Construction Company, describing the second round shortlisting as a ‘colossal humiliation’.

More than 140 architects have signed an online petition demanding the competition be re-launched.

Petition organiser Arad Sharon told Haaretz: ‘The terms of the competition constitute a death blow for the architectural sector. This is a colossal humiliation.’

The library is planned to open in four years time and would be built in Jerusalem’s national precinct – home to the Knesset (Israeli parliament), Hebrew University and Israel Museum.

David Chipperfield Architects was unavailable for comment.

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