March 27, 2023

The Bauhaus movement found a second home in the ancient city of Tel Aviv

For a Bauhaus Tel Aviv experience from within, stay at the Cinema Hotel Tel Aviv, a Bauhaus theater converted into a boutique hotel.
Modern architecture probably isn’t the first association made with a country as intertwined with the bible as Israel, but ten years ago when UNESCO named Tel Aviv a World Heritage Site, it was for its unparalleled collection of modernist Bauhaus buildings.

The Bauhaus movement, a style of architecture linked with the design school in Germany by the same name, spanned from 1919 until 1933 when the Nazis came into power and closed down the school. Burgeoning architects fled to places like Tel Aviv where they adapted the function-over-form tenets of Bauhaus architecture to the hot Mediterranean climate. Windows became smaller and balconies became flatter to allow for roofs to run their length, providing complete shade from the intense sun. The lightly-colored, heat-reflective materials used for the 4,000 urban structures built between the 1930s and 50s earned the collection the nickname, The White City. Traffic circles were even designed with cultural significance: six points radiate from the center, resembling the Star of David.

For insights beyond what a solo stroll might glean, the Bauhaus Center – a museum, bookstore, and educational center – leads $15 guided tours on Friday mornings from 10am to 12pm of this area of Tel Aviv that’s centered around Rothschild Boulevard. Though the majority of buildings from the era still stand, they are in varying states of disrepair. Fortunately, with Israel’s growing prosperity, renovations are imminent if not already in progress.

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