Israel Prize-winning Architect David Resnick Dies at 88

The Rio de Janeiro native was buried on Monday, a day after his death, in the section of Jerusalem's Har Hamenuhot cemetery reserved for notable citizens.

Keshet Rosenblum
Keshet Rosenblum

Israel Prize-winning architect David Resnick, who became one of Israel's most prominent modernist architects after moving here from Brazil in 1949, died this week. He was 88.

The Rio de Janeiro native was buried on Monday, a day after his death, in the section of Jerusalem's Har Hamenuhot cemetery reserved for notable citizens.

At the 1995 Israel Prize ceremony where Resnick was awarded the architecture award, he was described as having created a unique style in which his daring buildings demonstrate respect for local traditions and are marked by great sensitivity and impressive aesthetic quality.

Resnick designed a memorial to John F. Kennedy in the Jerusalem Forest that some say recalls the renowned Brasilia Cathedral in Brazil - designed by Brazil's most famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer, at whose firm Resnick worked for four years. The memorial, known in Israel as Yad Kennedy, represents a tree cut off in its prime, with the emblems of the U.S. states on its support beams.

Resnick has also designed a memorial for Israeli soldiers, Yad Lebanim in Jerusalem, as well as the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and a controversial residential building in downtown Jerusalem referred to variously as the Amir Center, Beit Agron and the Supersol building.

The square high-rise at one point also earned the dubious honor of being known as "Jerusalem's ugliest building."

"For me, it was very important to have modern construction in Jerusalem, but most of the people opposed my building and said it wasn't in the Jerusalem tradition," Resnick said in a 2005 interview with Haaretz for an article on a retrospective of his work.

A year after the State of Israel was established, Resnick moved with his wife Rachel to Kibbutz Ein Hashofet.

Architect David Reznik in his Jerusalem home in 2005.Credit: Eyal Warshavsky

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