05.02.2012 12.Schwat. 5772
With his biggest projects now in Asia, Moshe Safdie, the best-known Israeli architect in the world, is shutting down the office he opened in Jerusalem in 1970. The future, it seems, is in China.
In the spring of 1998, Parkash Singh Badal, then as now the chief minister of the northern Indian state of Punjab, came on a state visit to Israel. His hosts accompanied him to, among other places, the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem, where he saw the Children's Memorial, designed by Moshe Safdie about a decade earlier. The memorial pays tribute to the Jewish children murdered by the Germans and their helpers. Badal, the scion of a respected Sikh political dynasty, was moved to tears by the visit and asked to meet the architect without delay.
Two days later, he and Safdie were already sitting in the lobby of a Jerusalem hotel and discussing the possibility of constructing a Sikh heritage center in Punjab – "and two weeks after that, I landed in India," Safdie recalls. "Badal had a slight mess on his hands because he'd brought in an architect from outside, instead of choosing a Sikh architect for the project. There were a lot of arguments about that in the community, but the moment I showed them the plan with the model, the whole dispute simmered down."…