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Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv on the International Style in Israel

"In 2004 UNESCO declared the city, as the world's largest concentration of International Style or 'Bauhaus' buildings, a world heritage site. The International Style dominated the huge wave of construction in the 1930's and '40's and represented prevailing values of the era, such as a clean and unadorned aspect and a basic formal vocabulary attentive to the climate and residents' needs. The development of industry and technology made it possible to create innovative compositions, unique to the era, around the world. In Tel Aviv it enabled a local urban style which was open and inclusive. Over the years many "Bauhaus" buildings were transformed by the addition of stories and the closing off of balconies; their original look was warped. Although the Municipality has resolved to preserve (many) buildings, it has no way to force houseowners to preserve homes and return them to their original condition. The initiative must be private and thus the renewal of Tel Aviv Bauhaus is a slow process."

Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv, from "Tel Aviv-Yafo. Preservation Map and Guide," 2010

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Credits: Image of a Bauhaus building in decay on the Tel Aviv promenade, April 2011, by Rebecka Gordan. Image of Cafe Mana, Tel Aviv's promenade, 1938, by Rudi Weissenstein & The Photo House. For more information, see the Bauhaus Renovation Foundation.