One Year After Frank Gehry’s Exit, Another Architecture Firm Threatens to Leave Museum of Tolerance Project in Jerusalem


In the spring of last year, you might recall that Frank Gehry decided to remove himself from the long controversial Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. This turned out to be something of a very fortunate move for the architect in terms of publicity, as shortly after he’d left, the building project began fighting through another issue: what to do with the ancient Muslim cemetery it was being built upon. While that story has gradually moved away from receiving international press, it appears that the project has hit yet another wall. Haaretz is reporting that the firm hired to replace Gehry, Israel-based Chyutin Architects, are now threatening to walk away from the project. This, the paper reports, comes just one month after the company running the construction effort also decided to quit. Both have cited issues with the organization behind the project, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, with the architects reportedly finally fed up with interactions with the group, as it “asked for daily briefings and nagged them to death.” However, according to the LA Times, things might not necessarily be so dire (though certainly still not the most positive). That paper also reports that Chyutin has not resigned just yet, but is threatening to do so, not from being “nagged to death” but rather over a contract issue and a withheld payment, which the Center says was due to “the architect’s failure to meet certain contractual obligations.” However it all pans out, this is yet another blow to a project that’s already seen its fair share of them.