The Jordan River Project in Naharayim and the Architecture of Erich Mendelsohn

Autumn Semester 2016

ETH Students for the first time will investigate the Naharayim Site as a point cloud model. They will work through a series of precise section–elevations revealing the site and the hydroelectric power station on the border of Jordan and Palestine (1932) and then Israel (1948). Until now this site has not been documented. Students will look at the site and its specific organization through various architectural and landscape elements (zero-canal, dam, hydroelectric power plant, bridges). The work will be developed during short individual meetings and in a condensed Saturday workshop. The goal is to produce material for an exhibition and publication on the theme of the architecture of power in this region, and it will be in preparation of a design studio in Spring 2017.


The work will finalize the study done in the elective course towards a publication and exhibition. The Thesis Elective (“Wahlfacharbeit” 6 ECTS) will be conducted in the form of a 2-week workshop in January 2017. The elective course is compulsive to do the thesis elective.

Assistance: Ben Gitai, Ilmar Hurkxkens, Philipp Urech

Lectures 15h00-17h00

22.09.2016 – Introduction Lecture, HIL H40.9 “Foyer”
29.09.2016 – Lecture on Mendelsohn’s modernist architecture, HIL H40.9
06.10.2016 – Introduction to Techniques, HIL H40.8 “LVML”
13.10.2016 – Individual meetings*, HIL H40.8
15.10.2016 – Workshop day 10h00-18h00, HIL H40.8
20.10.2016 – Individual meetings*, HIL H40.8
03.11.2016 – Review, HIL H40.8
10.11.2016 – Individual meetings*, HIL H40.8
17.11.2016 – Individual meetings*, HIL H40.8
24.11.2016 – Final Presentation, HIL H40.9

* minimum of two meetings

  • Lectures are given 15-17h in HIL H40.8 (LVML)
  • The weekend Workshop 15-16. October compensates ordinary lectures
  • The course is limited to 22 participants
  • The lectures will be in English, assistance in E/D/F

The Zero Canal was planned to bring water from the sea of Galilee to the Naharayim power plant reservoir or to bring excessive water from the reservoir to the sea for storage. The Bypass could evacuate water from the zero canal back into Yarmouk river. The train bridge lays destroyed in the river bed. It has been digitally recontructed in this point-cloud.