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Israel library contest relaunched

A fresh contest has been launched to design a national library in Jerusalem – after a controversial competition last year failed to lead to a contract.

he National Library Construction Company called in March 2013 for bids to design a new home for the National Library of Israel, which is 120 years old.

It comes after Israeli Rafi Segal was chosen in September 2012 as the preferred architect for the scheme. Segal was later informed he would not be awarded the deal and launched a legal challenge to be reinstated (AJ 17.01.2013).

The National Library Construction Company said: ‘In December 2012, Segal’s proposal was disqualified in light of deficiencies that were discovered in it, and his selection as the preferred architect was cancelled.

‘The company informed him that it had decided to terminate the negotiations with him and that the National Library’s home would not be designed by him. 

The competition concluded without selecting a winning architect.’

The client said it would compile a list of six architects entering the replacement contest – three from Israel and three from abroad.

An international committee will then select the winning architect.

The choice will be based, among other criteria, on:

  • Professional qualifications, reliability and personality
  • Ability to create a fruitful dialogue with the client
  • Previous experience in designing and constructing public buildings
  • Quality of design and execution
  • Conceptual outlook and orientation in designing the Library building.

The client added: ‘In choosing between candidates of similar qualifications, priority will be given to an Israeli architect.’

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