Speech of Mr.Shlomo Lahat (Chich)
Former Mayor of the City of Tel Aviv - Jaffa
As the mayor of Tel Aviv- Jaffa, once I had the opportunity to know architect Nili Portugali and to be familiar with her projects in the city.
Nili Portugali is an intelligent architect who has an architectural concept based on socially involvement, aesthetics and high professional level. Her works are an excellent expression of her concept primarily creating a human and aesthetical environment for its users.
I like her works in Tel Aviv very much. Nili understands the spirit of the city which is expressed in her works.
Her buildings are beautiful, graceful as well as functional and friendly. But, above all for me, they are Tel Aviv.
There's no doubt that her projects are a great success. The best proof is the great number of activities and the great number of uses. Each project has its own assignment but all her projects have the warm and human atmosphere which make people love and enjoy it.
When I speak about her projects in Tel Aviv- Jaffa, I mean: the Community center for Senior Citizens on Rashi street, donated by Mr. Uzi Tzuker, Yeffet and Ha'zorfim streets in old Jaffa – this was not yet built, it was planned, but I'm sure it's an outstanding planning, I know the planning, and it will be built very soon, and you'll see that I was right, The Music Library in the building of the public library of Tel Aviv–Beit Ariela, The Library and Music Center on Bialik street, where we are located here and the New Residential Building on Ha'shomer street at the area of Na'halat Binyamin.
The album of Nili Portugali gives us the opportunity to examine her different works all over the country and to learn about her concepts and ideas and the feel of architecture.
Nili, it is a very impressive album. I feel lucky that architect Nili Portugali worked in the city of Tel Aviv - Jaffa during my tenure of office as the mayor. I appreciate her important contribution to our city.
I wish you, Nili, more projects and success, and we at least as citizens of the city of Tel Aviv deserve it.
Speech of Mr. Axel Menges
Edition Axel Menges
Good evening to you all
First of all, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity of saying a few words to you here in Tel Aviv.
For those of you who do not know us: we are an international publishing house based in Germany, specializing in architecture, art and design. I am an architect myself, so logically contemporary architecture is our principal field.
For this reason, it is also not surprising that we published the book of Nili Portugali, especially because there’s also a certain amount of tradition in relation to Tel Aviv on my side: in 1993, when I was still a free-lance editor for the Ernst Wasmuth Verlag in Tübingen, I was responsible for a book about »white Modernism« in Tel Aviv that was published there.
But we are looking at a rather different type of building in the architecture shown in this book, as the architect is not from the same generation as the 1930s »white Modernists«.
As is well known, one particular danger faces classical Modernism (which was certainly historically justifiable in its day when the stylistic pluralism of historicism had to be overcome): in its »fundamentalist« form in particular it leaves too little scope for the imagination, over-emphasizes technology and makes functionality into a dogma as a design principle.
In contrast to this Nili Portugali is interpreting the world as a multiplicity of connections, as a harmonious structure, made up of parts that are not subject to any hierarchical order and are also not trying to prescribe one. The direct sensual and spiritual confrontation with the place and its history determine the design.
The school of thought that Nili is associated with constantly refines and condenses structures that have proved themselves aesthetically and socially, finally producing a complex network of connections that meet human needs to the greatest possible extent. So here we are dealing with a profoundly human approach that is derived not from an abstract ideal, as in classical Modernism, but from people in a concrete situation. The changes show right down to the use of color. Except in exceptional cases like Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, the classical Modernist architects restricted themselves to primary colors, and to black and white. I started my career as an architect with Egon Eiermann, that apologist for post-war Modernism in Germany who said about metal, for example: »Metal IS white and IS brushed matt. « In other words, a modern architect is only allowed to use stainless steel or natural aluminium with a non-shiny surface. But Nili loves gold, for example, which was an absolute taboo for the classical Modernists. As you see, both the cover and the dust jacket of Nili’s book are gold!
There is no doubt that Nili is an important exponent of a kind Modernism, which did not follow the false lead of Postmodernism, which is now almost completely forgotten, but developed Modernism further from the inside outwards. I can say that we are very proud that our house was allowed to publish this book. In London, where England’s best-known architectural bookshop recently made it their book of the week, they say about it: »There is no other book quite like this one, it really is singular, and worthy of your close attention. «
Speech of Mr. Zvi Bar
Mayor of the City of Ramat-Gan
(Translated from Hebrew)
Good evening everybody
Success, Nili, comes from winning battles and first and foremost winning human hearts.
We would be able to see wonderful, great, unique things if we could only be freed from our basic mistrust in everything sublime.
Thank you, Nili, for the heart, the eye, the great sensitivity which was given expression with a hand of an orchestra conductor. Thank you allנאומו של מר. צבי בר ראש העיר רמת-גן
ערב טוב לכולם
הניצחון במערכות ובראש ובראשונה בלבבות בני האדם, מכאן נילי באה ההצלחה
נוכל לחזות בדברים מפליאים, גדולים, מיוחדים במינם, אם נצליח להשתחרר מחוסר האמון הבסיסי הקיים בנו כלפי כל דבר נשגב
תודה לך נילי, על הלב, העין, הרגישות הרבה שבאה לידי ביטוי ביד של מנצח על תזמורת . תודה לכולם