Hope through architecture

The Economist
Mar 25, 2014

Jewish and Arab architects might one day share their heritage and skills.

NOT only in 2013 did the building of Jewish settlements on the West Bank, the core of a would-be Palestinian state, grow at twice the rate of 2012; its uniform architecture is increasingly attracting Palestinians. In place of their distinctive rough-hewn stone houses, Palestinian builders now tend to prefer the uniform style of red-roofed houses that mark out Israeli settlements. “People always look up to the colonial power, even if they resent it,” says Renad Shqeirat, a Palestinian architect and conservationist. “They see their architecture as a sign of modernisation.”

It is increasingly hard to tell settler and new Palestinian housing estates apart by their style. Fuelled by high Jewish and Palestinian population growth and a facts-on-the-ground struggle to control as much territory as possible, the Jewish settlement of Har Homa on Jerusalem’s southern edge merges with the new estates of the once pastoral Palestinian village of Beit Sahour. Read more…

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