The Urburb: Patterns of Contemporary Living is a new book that accompanies The Israeli Pavilion at The 14th annual Venice Biennale of Architecture. The Urburb – a neologism referring to the mesh of the urban and suburban – characterizes the great majority of residential areas in contemporary Israel.
As a repercussion of one hundred years of modernist planning, a fragmented mosaic composed of the early twentieth century garden-city, agrarian settlements, mid-20th-century social housing, and the generic residential typologies of the past two decades.The Israeli Urburb appears as a fortress of homogeneity and calmness, yet in the context of past traumas and present anxieties, this edition looks beyond the repetition, and seeks to analyze the architecture as a psychic technique designed to assuage possible eruptions.The installation as a whole can be compared to a modern day sand clock. An allegory of temperance, The installation includes four printers, customized for the pavilion’s space, which draw images on desert sand, and then erase them. Every few minutes a new image replaces the previous one. Together they tell the stories of one hundred years of modernist construction in Israel. From the Ottoman period through the British Mandate to Palestine, visitors enter the construction site that became modern day Israel.
The book brings together photographs of the installation, architectural photography, and other contemporary artworks, interspersed amongst theoretical texts and short stories which address the philosophical, cultural, political, economic and social aspects of the Urburban way of life. The book also features ten scenarios which document the Urburb’s progression in terms of the country, the city, the neighborhood and the building. Contributors include Roy Brand, Ori Scialom, Keren Yeala Golan, Amos Oz, Julia Fermentto, Eyal Sagui Bizawe, Zvi Efrat, Eshkol Nevo, Shimon Adaf.