Tomb of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Project Title
Tomb of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Alternate Titles
Rabin's Tomb
Leah Rabin commissioned the memorial tomb just two weeks after Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Although the tombs for the heads of state and leaders of the nation section of Har HaZikaron, the Mount of Remembrance, are standard black bazelet stone slabs, the unique design was considered appropriate in response to the circumstances of Rabin’s death and its importance as a national memorial.

After exploring several geometries during the evolution of the design, eight alternatives were presented to Leah and her family, who selected the clear, simple geometry with black and white stones. A special cabinet committee of the government approved the design, which deviates from the usual tombs for the leaders of the nation.

Two tombstones—black bazelet for Yitzhak and white Jerusalem limestone for Leah—create a single assemblage. The tomb’s form derives from a cube that is first sliced in half through the lateral axis, and then quartered to form two stones, one for Yitzhak, one for Leah. A further slice, conical in shape, is removed from both stones, radiating upwards towards the sky. A memorial candle is centered at the bottom of the cone. Thus, the juxtaposition of the stones forms a spatial container, focusing on the memorial candle and the facing public.

The spare form of the monument is comprised of two halves, dark and light, which when brought together form a half circle. The flame of eternal light burns at the base of their separation.

Images on this page: 1 Off-axis photo; 2 Massing photo; 3 Geometry studies; 4 Detail sketch

Jerusalem, Israel

between 1995 and 1999
Completion Date
Client: Ministry of the Interior, Government of Isreal

Project Type
Safdie Architects
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