P. 60

Appearances of this type directly damage my interest, since I will not be able to excuse the ugliness of the façade as the influence of an unqualified Agency bureaucrat. Unfortunately, I will not be able to continue managing the work under these conditions.12
After completion of the building in 1936, the need for additional building space was felt. Ratner was invited to plan a cube-shaped structure that would be placed behind the central bloc of the Agency and it was built in the years 1937-1938. In the guidelines the architect received, the importance of an organic link with the central building was emphasized.
We can infer the importance of the building from a letter sent by the engineer Yaakov Reiser, Co-Director of the Technical Department, to the Chairman of the Construction Committee in the Jerusalem Municipality:
As can be seen from the plans that we are submitting along with this letter, we intend to complete the entire building, usually according to the key concepts of the primary plans and thus create architectural wholeness. Our building as we see it, would be the most prominent in the entire Rehavia area and the King George Street due to it size, character and topographical situation, and its architectural creation has a significant and perhaps decisive impact upon its whole environment from the perspective of city building, and we wish to preserve the aforementioned element, even if it entails significant expenses on our part.13
The final stage in the construction of the National Institutions Building was after the establishment of the state. During a time when Yohanan Ratner was military attaché of the Israeli diplomatic delegation to Moscow, a third floor was built above the entire complex and the planning was delivered to the architect Yaakov Metrikin, who was the director of the Technical Department of the National Institutions in the years 1928-1951. In light of the compliments Reiser bestowed upon the building, it is unknown why it was decided not to contact Ratner to plan the addition, which damaged to some extent the harmony of the building he planned. Some had explained that this was due to Ratner's being outside of Israel. It is possible that the architect Metrikin seemed the natural choice, since he could add construction on top of an existing structure as the Head of the Technical Department. In any event, Ratner did not view the additions kindly, since they severely damaged, in his opinion, the structure he planned and its proportions, yet he did not file suit for infringement of his copyright.
12 Ratner's letter dated March 12, 1934. CZA.
13 Reiser's letter from June 5, 1945 to the Chairman of the Construction Committee in the Jerusalem Municipality,
which refers to the changes made at the time to the city's building code. Reiser presented explanations regarding the incompatibility between the new regulations and the plan that was made according to the city building code that was in effect at the time the building was planned.

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