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White City

(Tel Aviv, Israel)

Priyanshu Mani
11110043

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909


and
developed
as
a
metropolitan city under the
British Mandate in Palestine.
The White City was constructed
from the early 1930s until the
1950s, based on the urban plan
by Sir Patrick Geddes, reflecting
modern
organic
planning
principles.

The
White
City
(Ha-Ir
HaLevana)
refers
to
a
collection of over
4,000
buildings
built in a unique
form
of
the
Bauhaus
or
International Style
in Tel Aviv from the
1930s by German
Jewish
architects
who immigrated to
the
British
Mandate
of
Palestine after the
rise of the Nazis.

Dwelling on the
Dunes

The exhibition was originally held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
in 2004 and then traveled to Canada, Switzerland, Belgium and
Germany. Established in 2000, The Bauhaus Center in Tel Aviv
is an organization dedicated to the ongoing documentation of
the architectural heritage.

Contextual
Adaptation

The architecture had to suit the


extremes of the Mediterranean
and desert climate. White and
light colors reflected the heat.
Walls not only provided privacy
but protected against the sun.

Features

The cubic and rounded forms and strong horizontal


emphasis combine to create the play of light and shadow
that has become a trademark of Tel Aviv architecture. The
shapes of the buildings are enhanced by the blazing sun on
the smooth white plaster. The White City is a representative
sample of purist architecture free of superfluous ornament.

Large areas of glass that let in the light, a


key element of the Bauhaus style in
Europe, were replaced with small
recessed windows that limited the heat
and glare. Long narrow balconies, each
shaded by the balcony above it, allowed
residents to catch the breeze blowing in
from the sea to the west.

Buildings were raised on pillars (pilotis), the first being the 1933 Engel
House designed by Zeev Rechter.These allow the wind to blow under
and cool the apartments, as well as providing a play area for children.

In 1935, at the office building Beit


Hadar, steel frame structure was
introduced,
a
technique
which
facilitates opening the first floor for
such purposes.

Most of the buildings were of concrete (reinforced concrete was


often applied from 1912 on) and in the summer were unbearably
hot despite their innovative design features. Tel Avivs residents
took to the streets in the evenings, frequenting the numerous
small parks between the buildings and the growing number of
coffee shops, where they could enjoy the evening air. This tradition

The apartment blocks had variety of services such as


childcare, postal services, store, and laundry within the
buildings themselves. Additionally, having a connection to the
land was viewed as extremely important, so residents were
encouraged to grow their own vegetables on an allotment of
land set aside next to or behind the building. This created a
sense of community for the residents, who were in the main,
displaced people from differing cultures and origins.

Dizengoff Square

The square, built in 1934, was part of the original urban plan
by Sir Patrick Geddes, and was designed by architect Genia
Averbuch. A roundabout was fashioned around the square, at
its center a garden with a fountain and shady seating areas.
For decades the square was a popular location and one of the

Redesign

In 1978, however, the current split-level configuration was


introduced, duringShlomo Lahat's tenure as mayor, with
Dizengoff traffic flowing beneath it. The pedestrian area is
elevated, connected by ramps to the adjacent sidewalks and to
the pedestrian areas of Ben Ami and Zamenhoff streets, while
traffic uses the lower level.

Fredric R. Mann Auditorium, No. 10 Dizengoff

Opened in 1957 the Manns 2,760-seat hall has hosted the likes of
Leonard Bernstein, the London Symphony etc. The building is
expected to reopen in the spring following a NIS 140 million ($36.5
million) renovation.

Dizengoff Center, No. 50 Dizengoff

This mammoth shopping mall Israels first, when it opened in


1983 straddles Dizengoff Street with two towers connected by
skywalks and underground passages, and topped with a residential
skyscraper and an office building.

The Bauhaus Center, No. 99 Dizengoff

Bauhaus Center gives tours of the historic International styleBauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv, distinguished for its white
facades and rounded, minimalist structure.

Dizengoff Square and the Agam Fire & Water Fountain

In 1986, the original fountain was replaced with the Fire & Water
Fountain by renowned Israeli optical artist Yaacov Agam. Water
spurts from the rings and a flame rises from the peak, accompanied
by music at the top of every hour.

Short:Story, No. 173 Dizengoff

The merchandise in this trendy shop changes entirely every three months
(hence its clever name). Short:Story launches one brand at a time.

Kelim Shloovim, No. 229 Dizengoff

This unique-in-Israel gift shop is a joint venture among several


non-profit organizations that create employment opportunities
for people with emotional, physical and intellectual special
needs. The store is staffed by people being trained for retail
employment opportunities, and the items are crafted by
clients as well.

A cuppa whatever

Coffee shops and cafes, pubs and bars abound on Dizengoff Street.
One very popular tapas bar/coffee shop for the 25- to 35-year-old
set is Dizzy Frishdon at No. 121 (the name is an amalgam of the
street names Dizengoff, Frishman and Gordon.

Thank you