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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Returning to Ruins: The Carmel Disaster

Something that has been at the fore of the news in the past few days in Israel, has been the fire up in the Carmel. The largest bushfire in the country's history. It has left many houses in ruin.

These ruins fit with our 'Ruins Criteria':

1) the buildings are man made structures
2) the buildings were built as permanent structures
3) the building envelope is now no longer complete
4) the building appears different than how it was intended (yet enough remains to give an impression of the original structure)
5) nature has clearly encroached upon the structure
6) no significant human intervention/conservation has yet taken place upon the ruins
The images of the ashen ruins below are from Kibbutz Beit Oren and from the Children's Village of Yemin-Orde.


  1. These are certainly ruins. The only one of our criteria that is a bit shaky is #5 - nature. You're interpreting the fire as nature, which I suppose is true. However, I had in mind that it was the regrowth of plants and invasion of animals, which will probably happen here in less than a year, but hasn't happened yet.

  2. In "Irresistible Decay" Michael Roth talks about ruins caused by sudden natural disasters, such as an earthquake or fire. Roth calls these "premature ruins" - nice turn of phrase, no?