Bauhaus Tel Aviv – Distinct Architecture of the White City

bauhaus tel aviv

Bauhaus of Hayarkon

As I look at the expanse of Hayarkon
from the six feet by eight feet of a wide-open Tel Aviv Bauhaus window,
I felt protection and freedom of an extreme degree.

Yet somehow, the park today beckons
and entices me to enjoy it with complete abandon.
Shall I leave and fly out to the park?
Sit on the wooden bench
and take pleasure at the the mid-spring feel of still-cool breeze
and scanty rays of sun light?

Or walk towards its river
and marvel at ducks gliding down the waters,
or wait for fishers stealthily angling for some trophy denise catch
using chicken-chunk bait?

No, I am just perfect now
where I am,
staring through the wide-open window of my Bauhaus abode,
knowing that the strong pillars below the floor hold it up to solid security.

The sunshine and breeze reach me here, and soothe me just fine.
Yet still – I look somewhat lustfully at the expanse of Hayarkon – green, flowing, invigorating.
O please, invite me again; I’ll wallow in your midst next time.

-end-

I intended this article to be on Bauhaus Tel Aviv, but somehow the ode of sort that I composed talks equally of Hayarkon Park. Nonetheless, Bauhaus, whether it is found in front of the park where I lived or in downtown city, is one of the most fascinating architecture that Israel can claim to be uniquely its own.

Was I right to say unique? Bauhaus architecture was actually brought to the country in the 30s by architects of German and Jewish descent who flee upon the strengthening of the Nazis during that era. Since then, it has continuously evolved into one that suits the cultural and religious traditions of the Jewish race.

As I had my first glimpses of the city as my plane was about to land at the Ben Gurion International Airport, I was perplexed by the welcoming landscape. There were white and grayish-hued, box-shaped buildings everywhere! I thought it was peculiar indeed. Now, I understand that there are about 5,000 of these Bauhaus houses and buildings within the city, which was certainly the reason why it was given the name of White City Tel Aviv.

Today, these thousands of Bauhaus buildings are collectively acknowledged to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The UN organization has declared it to be a fine example of 20th century modern city planning and architecture that can hardly be seen anywhere else in the world. Indeed, worldwide interest in Bauhaus Tel Aviv has grown so much after its recognition from UNESCO.

The municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo has been exerting great efforts to make sure that these landmarks are fully protected. Ample funding is provided in order for old structures to be refurbished and restored to their original state.

The concentration of Bauhaus style buildings in the city is more than any other in the world. These buildings are not only used as residences – many others serve as private and public offices, shops, museums, galleries, and even schools. There is no doubt about it – Tel Aviv Israel is the world’s Bauhaus capital.