Tel-Aviv’s diverse architecture is fascinating and is itself something special to see!
The city of Tel-Aviv was founded on April 11th, 1909. The founders of the city, then still called ‘Ahuzat Bayit’ (meaning Housing Estate Association), turned for advice to several town-planners, including Wilhelm Stiassny, Josef Treidel and Avraham Goldmann. On May 21st, 1910 they changed the name to TEL-AVIV (meaning: Hill of Spring). By the end of 1910 the first houses were build on and around Rothschild-Boulevard. The houses were designed in neo-classic/romantic styles; examples include the ‘Twin-House’ on the corner of Strauss and Maze-street, the ‘Levine-House’ on
the Rotschild Boulevard no 46 or the beautiful ‘Pagoda-House’ on the corners of Melchett, Nachmani and Montifiori-street. Research has shown that most of the first architects of Tel-Aviv were born in Russia (48), Poland (31), Germany (13), Palestine (10) and Austria and Romania (3).
From 1924 until 1929 some of the building-designs were in the Eclectic-style,classic architecture with an oriental aspect and old-Jewish ceramic motifs (e.g. biblical figures and tales, typical Jewish symbols and utopian prophecy). You will find examples of this Eclectic-style at Nahalat-Binyaminstreet no.13, the ‘Shmuel Levy-House’, at Ehad-Ha’amstreet no.37, the Municipal School of Boys and at Ehad-Ha’amstreet no.35, the ‘P. Katzman-House’.
From 1930 until 1938 more then 4.000 (!!) buildings were designed in the International-style, in Tel-Aviv called Bauhaus, by more then 60 architects. In Tel-Aviv they designed their International Style houses with deep, rounded balconies, flat roofs, horizontal windows to cut the glare of the Mediterranean sun and beautiful white washed. The architects were directly inspired by the buildings of the Bauhaus School in Weimar/Dessau. The ideal Tel-Aviv apartment should be cool in summer and comfortably warm in de winter. Given the lack of thermal insulation that time, the architect needed to use natural features such as the sun and the winds. The rooms facing the the west were cooler in the morning, those which face east were better ventilated in the afternoon. This is why the living rooms face west and bedrooms face east.
Some fine examples of the International or Bauhaus-style you will find at the Ehad-Ha’amstreet no.49, the ‘Braun-House’,
at the Frugstreet no.5, the ‘Shami-House‘,
at Idelsohn-street no.25, the beautiful restored ‘Krusal-House’ and at Hajarkonstreet no.96, the Reisfeld-house.
After 1948 thousands and thousands of new immigrants came to Tel-Aviv and the buildings (in their thousands) were designed in a “cheap kind” of Bauhaus Style.
On June 7th, 2003 UNESCO declared the inner-city of Tel-Aviv a World Heritage Site, saving the more then 4.000 Bauhaus-buildings (and the buildings designed from 1909) from their destruction.