09 Nov Tel Aviv Architecture: More Than Just Bauhaus
More Than Just The White City
Famed for the Bauhaus influences in its buildings, UNESCO proclaimed Tel Aviv’s White City a World Cultural Heritage site in 2003. Regardless, the Bauhaus style is not the only type of architecture that Tel Aviv has to offer thanks to the diverse cultural influences. This has given way to various interpretations that architects, both local and international, have brought to the drafting table.
Dating back to the 1930s, the Bauhaus style is most prominent on Rothschild Boulevard, Dizengoff Street, Bialik Street and the Neve Tzedek area. This style is characterised by simple geometry and a lack of ornaments to accommodate the need for rapid, low-cost construction which was in line with a socialist and nearly-utopian society.
Nonetheless, the styles are clearly adapted to the Middle Eastern climate with smaller windows and deeper balcony to welcome the sea breeze into the home. Some of the famous buildings that showcases the Bauhaus style include:
•Esther Cinema (Cinema Hotel)
Apart from Bauhaus, Tel Aviv is famed with the eclectic style of architecture — a combination of neo-classic architecture which hints of other styles such as romantic or oriental. One such building is the Pagoda House which looks like a Chinese pagoda meets Greek columns and Islamic influences.
The eclectic buildings were mostly built around the 1920s and often displays an adorned or colorful facade, symmetry, domes, arches and gaudy balconies. Additional eclectic buildings not to be missed:
•Beit Ha’ir (First City Hall)
•The Great Synagogue
Rise of Skyscrapers
Tel Aviv finally made way for modern influences with the introduction of skyscrapers in 1990s, creating an “old-meets-new” vibe that is uniquely Tel Aviv. This contrast not only shapes Tel Aviv as the grand metropolis that it is, but offers a more relevant design to the current lifestyles of a Tel Avivian. Some of the must-see contemporary buildings are:
What used to be a German Templar colony in Tel Aviv is now a famous neighbourhood called Sarona.
It is one of the earliest modern villages (140 years old!) established in Palestine and has 18 structures of heritage value with distinct architectural styles preserved for an authentic village-feel quarter full of shops and cafes.
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