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From British to Bauhaus: Tel Aviv's Architecture

Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv (Photo: [email protected])

So much of the Holy Land's notable architecture is from biblical times, reminding visitors and Israelis alike of Israel's history. However, The Times of Israel's Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am take us on a tour of Tel Aviv, looking at the history of the city's last century through its buildings:

...continuing on, streets are named for biblical figures – mainly prophets. Here, one enters the world of Bauhaus.

In 2003, Tel Aviv was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations because of the predominance of Bauhaus architecture (a 1930’s style also called International) that originated in pre-Nazi Germany. Turns out that Tel Aviv has more buildings designed in Bauhaus than any other city in the world.

Some of the houses on the streets here are slightly newer than the original 1930’s structures on Rothschild Boulevard, Ahad HaAm, Engel and Melchett streets in Tel Aviv. Nevertheless, they were influenced greatly by Bauhaus principles: the use of pure classical architecture without any kind of ornamentation, and the addition of flat roofs, smooth exteriors and geometric shapes.

Others are completely eclectic: one, on the corner of Yehashua Ben Nun and Simon HaTarshi, features an unusual turret.

Among the structures on Hagai, Amos and Ovadia streets are houses built on thick stilts – a Middle Eastern adaptation of the Bauhaus style. For when new immigrant architects who had been studying Bauhaus in Europe began designing in this country, they realized that they had to adapt their designs to a new climate and type of land.

Tel Aviv was only a mass of sand dunes when established in 1909, and it is difficult to build foundations on sand. So the Bauhaus architects raised them up on thick stilts, which created air flow and left plenty of space for gardens...

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