Designer of Dimona Reactor, Dizengoff Center Dies at 91

Architect Yitzhak Yashar, who helped design Israel's first mall, died Monday in his Tel Aviv home.

Noam Dvir
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Noam Dvir

Architect Yitzhak Yashar, who helped design Israel's first mall, the Dizengoff Center, died yesterday in his Tel Aviv home. He was 91.

Yashar helped design many projects in Israel, Africa and Iran from the 1950s through the 1970s. His projects included the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (1964 ) with Dan Eytan, the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona (1963 ) and the Mexico Building at Tel Aviv University (1967 ). At the end of the '70s he co-designed the Dizengoff Center with architect Aliza Toledo.

The nuclear power plant in DimonaCredit: Archive

He won the Rechter and Rokeach prizes for his achievements.

Yashar, who was born in Moscow in 1920 and came to pre-state Israel with his family when he was 4, studied architecture at the Technion and began his career in architect Dov Carmi's office. In 1959 he and Eytan set up their own company and gained widespread recognition when they won the competition to plan the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

In 1965 the partnership fell apart and Yashar opened his own office, planning neighborhoods and apartment buildings. He was in charge of planning the King David Towers (Gan Ha'ir ), Tel Aviv's first prestigious high-rises.

Yashar's architecture was inspired by the ideas and aesthetics of modernism. "He once told me that when he took on a new project he would open a book of [modernism pioneer] Le Corbusier's and look for ideas there," said his son Avner, who joined his company in 1986.

Eytan added, "Yitzhak was an excellent architect, a very intelligent man. Mischievous, but with values. His projects contributed a lot to changing housing concepts in Israel."

Yashar continued working regularly until the age of 75. He was married three times; his wives included actress and theater personality Hanna Maron (who later married architect Yaakov Rechter ) and singer Rama Samsonov.

His funeral will take place at 1 P.M. tomorrow at Kiryat Shaul Cemetery.