Building the peace house was an initiative originally launched by the late Palestinian leader Jassir Arafat and Israeli president Shimon Peres. At the present day and in particular after the latest manifestations of violence from both camps, the opening of the building, which still bears the name of one of its founders – ‘Peres Peace House’ – comes with a bitter after-taste.
Nevertheless the house is intended as a meeting place and a place where ideas and experiences can be exchanged, it is meant to spread peace and, from an architectural point of view at least, the architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas seem to have been aware of the difficult circumstances in which the project originated. The 2500 sqm peace centre on the coast in Jaffa makes a less extrovert and much more restrained impression than other works by the Fuksas team.
Pale green concrete slabs form layers like sedimentary rock to create the irregular and almost random appearance of the building’s facade. The only view from the Peace House is an unimpeded view of the open sea – described by Massimiliano Fuksas a ‘symbol of the state of emergency’.