International Convention Center (Jerusalem)

International Convention Center (Jerusalem)

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The International Convention Centre , commonly known as Binyenei HaUma , is a concert hall and conventional center in Giv'at Ram in Jerusalem, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. It is the largest convention center in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

.

History



Binyenei Ha'uma was first envisioned by Alexander Ezer
Alexander Ezer
Alexander Ezer was a Zionist activist and a leading developer of commerce, tourism and industry in the pre-state Yishuv and newly established State of Israel. Ezer served as chief adviser on tourism for the first government of Israel...

 (who later became its managing director) and planned by architect Ze'ev Rechter who won the design competition in 1949. The complex was under construction from 1950 to 1963, though it began operations in 1956 with a meeting of the World Zionist Organization
World Zionist Organization
The World Zionist Organization , or WZO, was founded as the Zionist Organization , or ZO, in 1897 at the First Zionist Congress, held from August 29 to August 31 in Basel, Switzerland...

. The period of economic difficulty and austerity
Austerity in Israel
From 1949 to 1959, the state of Israel was, to a varying extent, under a regime of austerity , during which rationing and similar measures were enforced.-Rationale:...

 in the first decade of Israeli independence meant frequent disruption in construction due to lack of funds, and the project was sometimes disparagingly known as Chirbet HaUma, the National Ruin. Rechter's design was a solid structure faced in Jerusalem stone
Jerusalem stone
Jerusalem stone is a name applied to various types of pale limestone, dolomite and dolomitic limestone, common in and around Jerusalem that have been used in building since ancient times...

. Instead of a monumental relief
Relief
Relief is a sculptural technique. The term relief is from the Latin verb levo, to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is thus to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane...

 by artists Joseph Zaritsky
Joseph Zaritsky
-Biography:Zaritsky was born in 1891 in Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire. He lived in Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels, but mostly he lived in Jerusalem. He studied at the art academy in Kiev before emigrating to Mandate Palestine in 1923. In 1929, he relocated from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv,...

 and Yitzhak Danziger
Yitzhak Danziger
Yitzhak Danziger was an Israeli sculptor. He was one of the pioneer sculptors of the Canaanite Movement, and later joined the "Ofakim Hadashim" group.- Biography :Danziger was born in Berlin in 1916 to a Zionist family...

 as originally planned, the facade was covered with azure
Azure
In heraldry, azure is the tincture with the colour blue, and belongs to the class of tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of horizontal lines or else marked with either az. or b. as an abbreviation....

-coloured glass-panels.

Capacity


Located opposite the Jerusalem Central Bus Station
Jerusalem Central Bus Station
The Jerusalem Central Bus Station is the main bus depot in Jerusalem, Israel and one of the busiest bus stations in the country. Located on Jaffa Road near the entrance to the city, it serves Egged, Superbus and Dan intercity bus routes...

 at the western entrance to town, the centre houses 27 halls capable of seating over 10,000 people, and is a member of the AIPC and ICCA
International Congress and Convention Association
The International Congress and Convention Association was founded in 1963 by a group of travel agents to exchange information on international congresses and conventions....

 and conforms to their international standards. Its largest hall, the Menahem Ussishkin
Menahem Ussishkin
Menachem Ussishkin was a Russian-born Zionist leader and head of the Jewish National Fund.Avraham Menachem Mendel Ussishkin was born in DubroŇ≠na in the Belarusian part of the Russian Empire, Ussishkin graduated as a technical engineer from Moscow Technological Institute...

 auditorium, seats 3,104. In all, 12,000 square metres of exhibit space extend over two levels and ten display areas.

Functions


Binyanei Ha'uma is the home of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra of the Israel Broadcasting Authority is a major orchestra of Israel...

.The complex has hosted many international events, among them the Eurovision Song Contest 1979
Eurovision Song Contest 1979
The Eurovision Song Contest 1979 was the 24th Eurovision Song Contest and was held on 31 March 1979 in Jerusalem, Israel. The presenters were Daniel Pe'er and Yardena Arazi, and the event was staged at the International Convention Center. Representing Israel, Gali Atari and Milk and Honey were the...

, Eurovision Song Contest 1999
Eurovision Song Contest 1999
The Eurovision Song Contest 1999 was the 44th Eurovision Song Contest, held on 29 May 1999 in Jerusalem, Israel after Dana International won the contest the previous year in the United Kingdom. The venue for the contest was the International Convention Center...

  and the Jerusalem International Book Fair. The trial of John Demjanjuk
John Demjanjuk
John Demjanjuk is a retired Ukrainian-American auto worker who gained notoriety after being accused numerous times of Holocaust-related war crimes....

was held there.

Future building plans


Plans are being discussed to enlarge the ICC by 30,000 square meters, doubling of the parking space, adding three office towers, commercial space and a hotel.

External links