2006 Laureates of Emet Prize
In Category: Culture and Art
In Field: Architecture
The architect Nitza Metzger Szmuk was born in Tel Aviv.
She graduated as an architect from the University of Florence in 1978. She later worked in various architectural firms in Florence and focused on the conservation of historical buildings and on planning public institutions.
Upon her return to Israel she was hired for work at the Tel Aviv Development Foundation in order to carry out a survey of the International Style buildings in the city. The survey served as a basis for the city's conservation plan and for her first book, Dwelling on the Dunes, which was published in Hebrew, English and French.
In 1991 she set up the conservation team at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality and headed the team until 2002. During these years she strove to have the list of buildings intended for conservation approved, a list that includes 1600 houses. She also devised guidelines for the treatment of these buildings and supervised the restoration of 300 of them. Thanks to her efforts Tel Aviv became a paragon of conservation in Israel.
In 2001 she initiated, written and edited the candidacy report of "The White City" for UNESCO, and following the report the city was proclaimed a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2003.
In 2004 the report was published as the catalogue of the Tel Aviv's Modern Movement exhibition. Alongside this activity she fought to raise awareness for the conservation of "The White City" and its values, participated in the promotion of the International Bauhaus Conference that took place in the city in 1994. She was also curator of the Tel Aviv's Modern Movement exhibition, shown at the Tel Aviv Museum in 2004 and later in Canada and Switzerland.
In 2005 she joined the Technion as a faculty member and in 2006 she was made associate professor and coordinator of the M.A. course in architecture for those specializing in conservation.
Her work won her the Rokach Prize for Architecture and a certificate of honor for her professional contribution to the field of site conservation, awarded by the Association of Architects and Town Planners.
From 2003 she owns an independent architectural office specializing in the conservation of buildings and sites.