The Globalist has an article about how architects from the Bauhaus, escaping Nazism, came to Tel Aviv and created a European, modernist city.

In Tel Aviv, they found a young city without an established building style. “Nostalgic for home, they made a European city in the Levant,” noted Linda Grant.

Their progressive principles stressed the social responsibility of the architect towards the community. This went hand in hand with the ideology of the Zionist settlement in Palestine, in which liberal and socialist intellectuals who had emigrated from Europe were dominant. … In a way, the Bauhaus school, which wanted to establish a new society, seemed to be an almost perfect match for the radical Zionist project — which aimed at creating a modern Hebrew urban community in Tel Aviv. …

The new Tel Aviv was comprised of buildings of a uniform height of three to four floors, sun washed, with many balconies and gardens. The modernist structures were cubist, sculptural, economical and functional in their form. It was a “garden city” of wide tree-lined boulevards. Within city blocks, small roads run toward smaller green spots, creating both a bustling urban exterior and a quiet local feeling inside.

Architects used concrete to create clean-lined, boxy buildings. Strong horizontal elements created patterns with very little ornamentation. Local adaptations included long narrow windows and balconies to filter light and give shade from the sun. Curved balconies softened the stark austere lines of the buildings.

The article also describes the decline of the Bauhaus patrimony and steps that are being taken to presenve it.

Link: Bauhaus in Israel.

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