Zvi Hecker was born in Krakow in Poland and emigrated to Israel first to study and then to teach at the Technion. He was so committed to the quality of his first building on campus that he is believed to have personally smashed in the windows during construction as such was his dissatisfaction at their construction.
For many years his own residence in Ramat Gan (a suburb of Tel Aviv) has been an apartment in the dramatic Dubiner Apartment block that he designed together with his former Professor, Alfred Neumann. From the faceted building that rides the hillside on stilts you can now see his famous apartment block of 1986; the so-called 'Spiral' which on first sight looks like a built version of the drawings by the NATO group in London but on closer inspection reveals itself to be both heroic and ingenious in its constant overlaying of stonework from the traditional villages, Gaudi-like glass chippings and sophisticated planning.
In 1990, he won the competition for the Jewish Elementary School in Berlin. Here, the language of swirling and dramatic shards was interspersed with a conscious study of the North European techniques of window-making and light control, as if Hecker was deliberately preparing himself for re-entry into the European condition. Almost simultaneously however, he won the competition for the Palmach Museum in Tel Aviv. Documenting the history of the revolutionary army, this has been his most discussed building. The way in which the striated blocks ride the land and contrive to reproduce the layers of different land formation and the composition of the building as a whole is unique.
In recent years Hecker has mainly lived in Berlin where further competition wins have led to his buildings in Duisberg, further Berlin work and the extraordinary 'Security City' for Amsterdam's Schipol Airport, exhibited in London at last year's Royal Academy Summer Show.