2014 Laureates of Emet Prize
In Category: Culture and Art
In Field: Architecture
The landscape architect Shlomo Aronsonwas born in Haifa in 1936. Upon completion of his army service in the Nahal Brigade, he travelled to the United States to study architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Early in his studies, he switched to landscape architecture, and then went on to complete a master’s degree in landscape architecture and town planning at Harvard University.
In 1968, after working a year for the department of architecture of the Greater London Council, he returned to Israel. After a brief stint at the city engineers’ office in Jerusalem, he opened an architecture, landscape architecture, and town planning office of his own. Since then, he has planned hundreds of projects around the country and the world, many of them in Jerusalem. Amongst others, he designed the Haas Promenade with Laurence Halprin and the Sherover Promenade, the Botanical Garden at Givat Ram, significant portions of the landscape at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem and the plaza of the Jerusalem Theater. Other projects include the Castel National Park, the U.S. Independence Park in the Judean Hills and Sapir Park in the Arava Desert. He has also completed many projects involving the preservation of important archeological sites, such as the National Park in Caesaria and Beit Guvrin. Over the years, he has been involved in the master planning of many cities, including Carmiel, Beer Sheva, Hod HaSharon and Eilat as well as in the relocation of all the army bases in the Sinai to the Negev Desert following the peace agreement with Egypt. He was also the editor of the landscape section of TAMA 35 (national master plan).
Over the years, he has guest lectured at many universities all over the world and has taught at the Urban Planning Department of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He was also a visiting professor at the Architecture Department of Bezalel. For several years he served as chairman of the Israeli Association of Landscape Architects. He has received many awards, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of California, Berkeley, USA 2001, the ASLA Honor Award in 2005 for the design of the central plaza at Ben Gurion International Airport, the Karavan Prize for Architecture and Landscape Architecture in 1998, the Beautiful Israel Prize for the Sherover Promenade in 1991, a Gold Medal at the World Expo in Japan in 1990, the LOCUS Foundation Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2011 and in 2012, he received the Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem Award.