Bauhaus in Tel Aviv
Central Tel Aviv has the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus style buildings. The International Modern Style of architecture appeared in Europe in the years immediately following World War One. Its greatest exponent was the Bauhaus School of Arts, Design and Architecture, founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar Germany in 1919. The Bauhaus School later moved to Berlin and was closed by the Nazis in 1933. Over the years many have come to regard the terms Bauhaus and International Modern Style as synonymous.
The rise of Nazism and successive waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine brought many new immigrants from Germany, including several prominent Bauhaus architects, to Tel Aviv in the 1930’s. In Israel these architects had to adapt their style to different environmental, especially climatic, conditions. Tel Aviv’s tremendous urban growth at this time provided them with ample work. The results can be seen through the approximately 4,000 Bauhaus style buildings that were built in Tel Aviv in the 1930’s and 40’s.
So what is Bauhaus Architecture?
Bauhaus style architecture favored functionality for the benefit of the residents over decoration. In building design, the organization of space took prominence over mass. Architects strove to optimize light and ventilation, an especially important challenge as they moved from central Europe to Middle East. Bauhaus buildings standout for neat flowing lines, both vertically and horizontally. Decorative elements were avoided. Construction favored the use of modern materials and relied on an internal shell rather than being supported by external walls. In Tel Aviv many Bauhaus buildings were built standing on pillars with dangling corners to provide for greater ventilation and shady areas outdoors.
Where to Find Bauhaus Style Buildings in Tel Aviv
Since there are roughly 4,000 Bauhaus style buildings in Tel Aviv, as you begin to notice their defining features, you will start to see a lot of them. Try the northern end of Rothschild Boulevard, especially on the east side of the street in the 80’s. Personal favorites include 87 Rothschild Blvd and Beit Rabinsky at 1 Gilboa St. Other good areas for viewing Bauhaus style buildings include Dizengoff Square and nearby Beilinson, Ben Ami and Frug Streets, along with the area of Yael and Shlomo Hamelech Streets north of Dizengoff Sq. Additional good examples can be seen on Mazeh and Nachmani Streets off the middle of Rothschild Blvd.
Remember to bring your camera to capture these special buildings.
The Bauhaus buildings are all on the street and so they are accessible as a normal street.
Bauhaus Tours in Tel Aviv
For walking tours focusing on Bauhaus style architecture check out the Bauhaus Center at 99 Dizengoff St. in Tel Aviv, 03-522-0249.