The article is devoted to the analysis of architectural and spatial solutions of an architectural object
built according to the idea of Friedrich Kiesler in collaboration with Armand Bartosz – the architectural
complex of the temple of books, near Givat Ram Hill in West Jerusalem. The article examines the
prerequisites for the formation of the architect's world-view related to the origin and city of birth –
Chernivtsi, with a powerful Jewish community at that time, where his father was a significant person. The
analysis of the ideological and semiological components of artistic solutions is proposed. The holy scripture
of Judaism, in particular Sefer Yetzirah, is a transcription of the colouristic of the exteriors of an
architectural complex. In turn, the elements of shaping are synthesized through stylization and creative
reincarnation of the forms of the presiding attributes of Judaism.
The orderthat Friedrich Kiesler carried out for the last 10 years of his life turned out to be the material embodiment
of his personality and creative theories. The architectural image of the temple demonstratesthe semiological thinking of the
architect and his use of historical and philosophical images as the initial sources of plastic language. The construction of
components is based on mystical images from the Scroll Sefer Yetzirah (book of creation): the war of the Sons of Light with
the Sons of Darkness. The symbolic eternal confrontation between good and evil – one of the leading motifs of Sefer
Yetzirah (book of creation) – is reflected in the white stupa of the dome – the symbol of the Sons of Light and the
compositionally contrasting black basalt wall – the Sons of Darkness.
The opening at the top of the vault is the path to heaven, hence to God, opened with the help of the sacred
knowledge gained. As for the interiors of the exhibition halls, according to F. Kiesler, they reflect his theory of the
unfinished house, which he worked on for several decades.
The semiotic images of the composition are transparent in their figurative language and read like a book.
Sketches by architect F. Kiesler reflect the process of the birth of an image, in which the main element is the Sefer
Torah (Torah scroll) in a ritual case (Tik – Sephardic).
Also, Keter Tora is surrounded and washed by water, a sacred element that is very symbolic for Eastern
cultures. Besides, this snow-white roof above the surface of the water with the underwater part that already forms
the inner volume of the “Temple” is an analogy with the insignificant visible surface and powerful underwater
deep part of the iceberg, hidden under the water surface, like the sacred wisdom of the Jews, is hidden from the uninitiated by its visible and reflex ritual veil. Keter Tora is the outer shell, the dome of the central hall of the
museum. The “Scroll” is placed below it along the vertical axis of the interior.
For F. Kiesler work on the architectural complex of the “Temple of the Book” was tedious. For him, whose
thoughts were always eager for the future, it was difficult to turn more than 2 millennia into the depth of history,
but he fulfilled his last earthly mission with brilliance. Theory without practice is dead, and practice without theory
is blind. The temple of books near Givat Ram Hill in West Jerusalem is the embodiment of the outstanding creative
potential of not only the theorist but also the practitioner – architect Friedrich Kiesler. Religious and social
education, emotional impressions of the architect's childhood and youth years spent in the strong Jewish
community of Chernivtsi, creative search for new ways of architecture and architect became inspiring components
of the architectural and spatial solutions of the “Temple of the Book” by Friedrich Kiesler and Armand Bartosz
near Givat Ram Hill in West Jerusalem.
Key words: Friedrich Kiesler, Temple of the Book, Sefer Yetzira, Keter Torah, inspiration, architectural
image, creative ideas, narrative, Judaism.
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