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Architecture and Urban Planning - A Memoir \ David Best
II 1960 - 1970
  My French was very poor so I could not converse easily with Le Corbusier, but when I was about to leave he came over and wished me good bye and good luck and I even got a faint smile from him which George told me afterwards was a great achievement.  I invited George to London to see the 1951 Festival but he was not able to come. 

   I had corresponded with George over the years and had met him again in 1960 during my ‘grand tour’ to Europe, but it was a complete surprise to suddenly get a phone call from him, particularly as he wanted me to be his partner on a project in Israel which he had just received.  "Come to Paris, David and we'll talk about it".  He and Shadrach Woods had left Le Corbusier's office and had established their own practice with another architect called Alexis Yosic. '' Our office is on 14 rue Dauphine near the Pont Neuf, you will like it David".  I bought airline tickets right away.

   Rina joined me on this trip and we holed up in the little hotel where we had stayed before in 1951, near La Muette Metro station in the 14th Arrondissment, near to where our friends the Checkler family still lived.  Paris in 1965 was still congenial and un-congested.  It was not Joyce's or Hemingway's Paris, but still recognizable and remained so for another decade at least.  The Candilis, Wood, Yosic partnership was then at the highest point of its architectural success.  They had recently won several large competitions and were now working on a most prestigious one for the New Town of Toulouse-le-Mirail.

   Georges explained to me the Israeli project;-; a hotel in Caesarea, close to the sea. A magnificent complex of archaeological ruins lay to on one side of the site and a newly planned golf course was to be developed on the other side. ". But you see David we are very busy here, so I want you to work with me for at least a few weeks in Paris on the conception of the Hotel Caesarea and, then take the work to your office in Tel Aviv. You can prepare working drawings and of course do the supervision in Israel;  l wondered why George needed such a relatively small work as this howevert the reason soon became evident.  His client was Baron Edmond de Rothschild and Candilis was anxious to become involved with one of the more important projects of his financial empire; ‘Club Mediterranean’.  Edmond had insisted however that he should design first this ‘petite hotel a la borde de Mediterraneane’, as Candilis would call it and published it, without mentioning the word Israel in order that his architectural work in Morocco should not be compromised.  But what did that little subterfuge matter for me, the project of ‘Hotel Caesaria’ was a delightful reason to be in Paris and to work with him and the international group of young architects at 14 Rue Dauphine.

   I worked during the day on the hotel and in the evenings I helped the office with the Toulouse-le-Mirail competition. The lunches at the corner bistro were great, the food delicious, and the conversation stimulating. In this respect the ambiance of Paris hadn't changed much since my first visit.  The exhibitions of painting and sculpture were a joy, and if the singing at the Opera was still a bit mediocre, the stage decor and the opulence of the public parade in the foyers at the intervals as before, made up for it.  By the end of the three weeks we had finalized the concept for the Caesaria Hotel and finished the competition. Soon after I got back to Israel I heard that the Candilis, Yosic, Woods’ partnership had received the first prize with their project for Touloude-le-Mirail which was to become a seminal urban conceptfor a decade or more.


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