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Bauhaus, International Style Architecture, Tel Aviv

When we think of Bauhaus we think of modern architecture and we think of Tel Aviv, the Bauhaus capital of the world. But Bauhaus is not a style of architecture. It is the name of a school of architecture, art and design that existed in Germany between the two world wars.

This year marks 100 years to the establishment of the Bauhaus school.

It was established in Germany in 1919. The first campus was built in Weimar Germany and the first person to run the school was the well known German Architect, Walter Gropius. The name Bauhaus means “the house of the builders”. The school taught architecture, design as well as town planning. The school changed venues and moved to Desau, Germany where Gropius built a campus, with dormitory and lodgings for the teachers.

Many well known modern architects learned there, including many Jewish architects from Palestine or those who emigrated at a later stage. These Jewish architects from Bauhaus, such as Arye Sharon and Shlomo Bernstein, came back to Palestine and continued its work. The second Bezalel Art school taught art, architecture and design in a similar fashion.

The influence of Bauhaus in Israel

As I said before, Bauhaus was a school not a style of architecture.  However, it was instrumental in developing a style of architecture called the “International Style”. This style of architecture is a break from the eclectic style of architecture that was popular in the 1920’s. Instead of ornamental facades it showed clean smooth facades with no ornamental decorations.

In the 1930’s the International Style took hold in Palestine (Israel). Many buildings in Tel Aviv, Haifa and even Jerusalem were designed in this style. In fact, the International Style in Palestine took on a whole new level and was adapted to fit the hot Mediterranean climate.

Israeli International Style includes unadorned, asymmetrical facades with sometimes curving, sometimes straight porches, long, vertical, “thermometer like” windows and architectural tricks to shelter windows from the hot sun.

Bauhaus, International Style, Architecture, UNESCO

In Tel Aviv alone thousands of buildings were built in this style. For this reason, Tel Aviv was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003. Haifa has many beautiful buildings designed in this style but neglect and an unwillingness to showcase and preserve these buildings has left the city of Haifa behind in this matter. Many Jerusalem buildings were also built in this style and they have the added highlight of being covered in Jerusalem Stone.

Bauhaus’ 100 years will be marked in Germany with a new museum. In Israel the event will be marked by a special exhibit in the Tel Aviv Museum.


Bauhaus, Tel Aviv, International Style, UNESCO, World Heritage SiteTel Aviv, bbauhaus, International style,


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