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The characteristics of Bauhaus – Catawiki

By Rosanne | 31st August 2020

Founded just a few years after WWI left Germany in political, social and economic crisis, Bauhaus signalled a shift from emotional expressionism to rational, functional and more matter-of-fact design. Walter Gropius was appointed director of the Bauhaus school and argued that the end of the war initiated a new period in history and therefore, a new style was needed to reflect that. Although the Staatliches Bauhaus only existed for 14 years, the school has left behind a lasting legacy. These are the characteristics that define its teachings.

Uniting art with craft and mass production

Walter Gropius defined the school’s goal as “create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist”. Essentially, this meant that craft tradition was merged with modern technology, in order to cater to the needs of the system of mass-production; an ideal that was both practical and necessary in order to rebuild the country.

Form follows function

The American architect Louis Sullivan was one of the first to use the famous expression ‘form follows function’. This simple phrase became one of the fundamental ideas of Bauhaus. It means that in design, a form should always be used for its function instead of its aesthetic appeal. The utility should come first and excessive ornamentations were avoided.  

Honest materials

According to the teachers at Bauhaus, materials should reflect the true nature of objects and buildings. This meant the school of Bauhaus taught its students not to modify or hide materials for the sake of aesthetics. The construction of an object or building was not hidden but instead made an integral part of the design.

Inside the Bauhaus building in Dessau, Germany


The minimalist style of Bauhaus art, architecture and design reflected these ideas of functionality and honest materials. Influenced by movements such as Modernism and De Stijl, and as a counter-movement to the Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles; Bauhaus artists favoured linear and geometrical forms, while floral or curvilinear shapes were avoided. Only line, shape and colour mattered. Anything else was unnecessary and needed to be reduced.  

Total work of art

At the core of Bauhaus lies the idea of ​​the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, a synthesis in which multiple art forms are unified through architecture. A building was not just an empty vessel for the Bauhaus school, it was one element of the total design, and everything inside added to the overall concept. 


Bauhaus objects, as important pieces of art history, still look surprisingly contemporary today. Find your very own piece of Bauhaus furniture in our design auctions or register as a seller.

Discover more Bauhaus  | design  | modern & contemporary art

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What is the Bauhaus Movement? The History of Bauhaus Art

Throughout the 20th century, several styles of avant-garde art helped shape modern art. While many of these genres—including subconscious-based surrealism and energetic abstract expressionism—predominantly favored paintings, the Bauhaus movement encompassed a wide array of mediums, materials, and disciplines.

Ranging from paintings and graphics to architecture and interiors, Bauhaus art dominated many outlets of experimental European art throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Though it is most closely associated with Germany, it attracted and inspired artists of all backgrounds. Today, its influence can be found in art and design all over the world, whether within the walls of a museum or on a suburban street.


What is Bauhaus?

Bauhaus—literally translated to “construction house”—originated as a German school of the arts in the early 20th century. Founded by Walter Gropius, the school eventually morphed into its own modern art movement characterized by its unique approach to architecture and design. Today, Bauhaus is renowned for both its unique aesthetic that inventively combines the fine arts with arts and crafts as well as its enduring influence on modern and contemporary art.

The Bauhaus Logo (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)



In 1919, German architect Walter Gropius established Staatliches Bauhaus, a school dedicated to uniting all branches of the arts under one roof. The school acted as a hub for Europe’s most experimental creatives, with well-known artists like Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee offering their expertise as instructors.

Photo: Susanlenox (Public Domain)

Bauhaus as an educational institution existed in three cities—Weimar (1919 to 1925), Dessau (1925 to 1932), and Berlin (1932 to 1933).

Weimar, aka State Bauhaus in Weimar, was where Gropius laid the groundwork for Bauhaus to come; it’s where he established ideals that would be considered visionary for the time. Art, according to his manifesto and the program, should serve a social role and there should no longer be a division of craft-based disciplines.

At Weimar, the “stage workshop” was an important part of the education. It was directed by Lothar Schreyer from 1921 to 1923 and then by Oskar Schlemmer from 1923 to 1925. It brought together visual and performing arts and stressed an interdisciplinary approach.

Dessau was considered the hotspot in the heyday of Bauhaus. It arose after the politically motivated close of Weimar. During this time, it set forth on the path of designing new industrial products for mass consumption. (Most of the products and designs that are well known today came from Dessau.) It was also here that the famous Bauhaus Building was planned and built by Gropius. This iteration of Bauhaus was dissolved on September 30, 1932.

Berlin was the last phase of Bauhaus. Due to mounting pressures from the Nazis and cutbacks in funding, there was limited work done during this time. The move to Berlin happened after the closure of Dessau, and Bauhaus masters and students reconvened in October 1932 out of an abandoned telephone factory. By April 11, 1933, however, the premises were searched and closed by the police and SA.

The teaching staff dissolved the Bauhaus in July 1933.  But even after facing permanent closure, the influence and aesthetic of the school persisted, culminating in the Bauhaus movement.


Style of Bauhaus

The style of Bauhaus is commonly characterized as a combination of the Arts and Crafts movement with modernism, as evident in its emphasis on function and, according to the Tate, its “aim to bring art back into contact with everyday life.” Thus, typical Bauhaus designs—whether evident in painting, architecture, or interior design—feature little ornamentation and a focus on balanced forms and abstract shapes.


Bauhaus Art

In art, this emphasis on function is apparent in the balanced compositions of abstract paintings by Bauhaus artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Undoubtedly inspired by architecture, the paintings typically pair flat planes with overlapping shapes to suggest dimensionality.

Yellow-Red-Blue (1925) by Wassily Kandinsky (Photo: Musée national d’art moderne via Wikimedia Commons)

In addition to paintings, artists often produced abstract sculptures, avant-garde collages, and modernist posters featuring bold typography and blocks of color.

Bauhaus Exhibition Poster (1923) (Photo: iv toran [Public Domain])

Bauhaus Architecture

Similar to Bauhaus art, architecture in this style is characterized by harmoniously balanced

geometric shapes and an emphasis on function.

Photo: KlausHausmann

Featuring open plans and lots of glass, it is inspired by the simple yet polished look of the American Arts and Crafts movement—a genre popularized by master architect and Prairie School pioneer Frank Lloyd Wright.

Furthermore, this modern architecture movement heavily inspired the look of mid-century modern homes, which borrow the clean lines and functional design of Bauhaus buildings.

Photo: MichaelGaida


Bauhaus Interior Design

Bauhaus interiors are renowned for their simplicity and openness. The iconic furniture that did adorn these spaces was always highly intentional. Chairs, for instance, were reimagined by

Marcel Breuer, who was the head of the cabinet-making workshop at the Bauhaus in Dessau. He wanted to create minimalistic and mass-producible pieces that were made mostly of metal. This resulted in the foldable, lightweight Wassily Chair—named after the painter Wassily Kandinsky.

Although subtle, textiles also played a role in Bauhaus interior design. In fact, students studied color theory as well as weaving in the textile workshop. Their pieces, as well as the occasional wall painting, provided some levity to the otherwise industrial rooms.

Photo: Spyrosdrakopoulos via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: PeterDrews via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: pyrosdrakopoulos via Wikimedia Commons




Today, Bauhaus is often credited as the catalyst for modern architecture and furniture and as an important influence on mid-20th century painting and sculpture. Some buildings—including Bauhaus Dessau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site—have been turned into tourist destinations and house museums, while many major modern art museums incorporate the works of art into their permanent displays and popular exhibitions.

Bauhaus Dessau (Photo: Mewes via Wikimedia Commons)


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10 Bauhaus principles that still apply today

Germany and the whole world will commemorate this year the centenary of one of the most famous architecture style of the 20th century.

The history of Bauhaus

The term Bauhaus literally means «construction house» and was originally referring to the school of design which merged the former Grand Ducal School of Arts and Crafts and the Weimar Academy of Fine Art. The Staatliches Bauhaus emerged in 1919 and was led by the architect Walter Gropius.

It is important to note that Bauhaus from the beginning was not only an architectural style, but a school that combined crafts and the fine arts, influences from modernism, the English Arts and Crafts movement, and Constructivism.

The most famous masters and lecturers at the Bauhaus were Hannes Meyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Herbert Bayer, Alfred Arndt, Marlene Brandt, Otti Berger, Friedrich Engemann, Marcel Breuer, Carl Fieger, Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Adolf Meyer and others.

Walter Gropius’ Dessau Bauhaus building

The principles of Bauhaus

We collected for you the main principles of the movement, some of them are included in its manifesto (1919).

  1. No border between artist and craftsman. In a pamphlet for an April 1919 exhibition, Gropius stated that his goal was «to create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist». It is said in the manifesto, that «architects, sculptors, painters, we must all turn to the crafts!».
  2. The artist is an exalted craftsman. «In rare moments of inspiration, moments beyond the control of his will, the grace of heaven may cause his work to blossom into art. But proficiency in his craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies a source of creative imagination».
  3. «Form follows function». According to this idea, simple but elegant geometric shapes were designed based on the intended function or purpose of a building or an object. Though the functionality needn’t be boring as we can see from the Bauhaus buildings.
  4. Gesamtkunstwerk or the ‘complete work of art’. Gesamtkunstwerk means a synthesis of multiple art forms such as fine and decorative arts. A building and its architecture was only one part of the concept. The other part is design.
  5. True materials. Materials should reflect the true nature of objects and buildings. Bauhaus architects didn’t hide even brutal and rough materials.
  6. Minimalism. Bauhaus artists favoured linear and geometrical forms, avoiding floral or curvilinear shapes.
  7. Emphasises on technology. Bauhaus workshops were used for developing prototypes of products for mass production. The artists embraced the new possibilities of modern technologies.
  8. Smart use of resources. Bauhaus ideology is characterised by the economic way of thinking. The representatives of the Bauhaus movement wanted to achieve a controlled finance, productive time-consuming projects, precise material use, and a spare space.
  9. Simplicity and Effectiveness. There is no need for additional ornamenting and making things more and more ‘beautiful’. They are just fine as they are.
  10. Constant development. Bauhaus is all about new techniques, new materials, new ways of construction, new attitude – all the time. Architects, designers, and artists have to invent something new all the time. Thus Bauhaus influenced the new forms of arts like graphic design which emerged 100 years ago. Bauhaus also led to the emergence of new forms of interior design.

Bruno House, 3 Strauss Street, Tel Aviv by Ze’ev Haller, 1933


While Bauhaus itself was operational from 1919 to 1933 its ideals are still spread worldwide and relevant. For example, the concept of the well-known and popular modular IKEA furniture wasn’t born in Sweden. It was inspired by the classic works of Bauhaus designers.


Also published on Medium.

Bauhaus Movement Overview | TheArtStory

Red Balloon (1922)

Artist: Paul Klee

Paul Klee was one of the most talented and enigmatic artists to be associated with the Bauhaus, a visionary whose work combined stunning formal innovation with a curious kind of primordial innocence. In this canvas from 1922, delicate, translucent geometric shapes – squares, rectangles and domes – are picked out in gradations of primary color. A single red circle floats in the upper center, revealing itself, on inspection, to be the titular hot-air balloon. This illustrative flourish exemplifies Klee’s whimsical, associative use of the geometric compositional arrangements for which the Bauhaus became famous. In the artist’s unique idiom, emphasis shifts restlessly between the abstract and the figurative, between narrative association and esoteric symbolism. The glowing shapes, reminiscent of stained glass, are placed asymmetrically to create a visual rhythm, conducted by vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines, that seems both ordered and spontaneous.

Born in Switzerland in 1879, Klee had been associated with various Expressionist and modernist groupings in Northern Europe during the 1900s and 1910s, including Der Blaue Reiter group, before taking up a post at the Bauhaus in 1921, teaching mural painting, stained glass, bookbinding, and various other subjects. He published his art lectures in his Pädagogisches Skizzenbuch (Pedagogical Sketchbooks) (1925) in the Bauhausbücher series. Famously beginning with the line “[a]n active line on a walk, moving freely, without goal,” this work became hugely influential, establishing, as the critic Mark Hudson puts it, “[Klee’s] reputation as one of the great theorists of modern art. ..[as] he attempted to analyze every last permutation of his wandering lines.” For Klee, the line, developing from a single point, was an autonomous agent, spontaneous, which through its movement forged the development of the plane. This metaphor for the germination of compositional form became a fundamental tenet of Bauhaus design philosophy, influencing many of Klee’s contemporaries, including Anni Albers and Klee’s lifelong friend Wassily Kandinsky.

Klee’s presence at the Bauhaus from 1921 until his resignation in 1931 gives the lie to stereotypes of the institution as overly preoccupied with rationality and dry, formal methods. Klee’s work – both sophisticated and primitive, figurative and otherworldly – had a noted impact on later artists in America and Europe, including Jackson Pollock, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Nolan, Norman Lewis, and William Baziotes. As Clement Greenburg wrote in 1957, “[a]lmost everybody, whether aware or not, was learning from Klee.”

Bauhaus – Concepts & Styles

Beginnings of Bauhaus

The Bauhaus, named after a German word meaning “house of building”, was founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany by the architect Walter Gropius. In 1915 he had taken over the Grand-Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts, and it was through the merger of this institution four years later with the Weimar Academy of Fine Art that the radical new design school was formed. In conceptual terms, the Bauhaus emerged out of late-19th-century desires to reunite fine and applied art, to push back against the mechanization of creativity, and to reform education. At the same time, the development of Russian Constructivism in the 1910s provided a more immediate and stylistically apposite precedent for the Bauhaus’s merging of artistic and technical design. When the Bauhaus opened its doors in 1920, however, it was a sign of its debt to the aesthetic fashions of the previous decades it took up residence in the former sculpture studio of the Grand-Ducal Saxon School, designed in the Art Nouveau style by the school’s penultimate director Henry van de Velde.

Gropius called for the school to show a new respect for craft and practical technique, suggesting a return to the attitudes towards art and craft that had characterized the medieval age. He envisioned the Bauhaus as encompassing the full totality of artistic media, including fine art, industrial design, graphic design, typography, interior design, and architecture.

Bauhaus: Concepts, Styles, and Trends

The Bauhaus Teaching Curriculum

Central to the school’s approach was its original and influential curriculum. This was characterized by Gropius as a wheel made up of concentric rings, with the outer ring representing the vorkurs, a six-month preliminary or ‘basic course’, initiated by Johannes Itten, which concentrated on the fundamental aspects of design, in particular the contrasting properties of various forms, colors and materials. The two middle rings represented two intermediary three-year courses, the formlehre, which focused on problems related to form, and the werklehre, a programme of practical, workshop-based instruction oriented around technical crafts and skills. These classes emphasized functionalism, in particular the use of simple geometric forms that could be reproduced with ease, a conceptual lynchpin of modernist architecture and design across the decades to come. At the center of the wheel were courses specializing in building construction, teaching students the essentials of architectural design, engineering and construction, though with an emphasis on personal craft and workmanship that was felt to have been lost in modern building processes. A key aim of the pedagogical approach, one which applied across all courses, was to eliminate competitive tendencies, to foster not only individual creativity but also a sense of community and shared purpose.

The Bauhaus Faculty

Responsible for the design and delivery of this program were the fabulously talented faculty that Gropius had attracted to Weimar. The avant-garde painters Johannes Itten and Lyonel Feininger, and the sculptor Gerhard Marcks, were among Gropius’s first appointments. Itten was particularly important to the school’s early ethos: with his background in Expressionism, he was responsible for much of the initial emphasis on romantic medievalism that defined the Bauhaus, in particular the preliminary vorkurs, which he had designed. Famously, his Expressionist and esoteric tendencies put him at odds with Gropius’s scientific, sociologically-minded approach, and the two soon came to blows.

By 1923, Itten had left, to be replaced by László Moholy-Nagy, a more natural kindred spirit for Gropius; Moholy-Nagy refashioned the vorkurs into a program that embraced technology, and the social function of art. Nonetheless, the Bauhaus retained a mixture of aesthetic influences across the brief course of its existence. Though figures such as Moholy-Nagy are now associated to some extent with the technological ethos of Constructivism, other important early appointments included Expressionist and Expressionist-influenced painters such as Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. They also included artists working across a range of media, from sculpture to choreography, including Georg Muche and Oskar Schlemmer.

The Bauhaus in Dessau

In 1925, the Bauhaus moved to the German industrial town of Dessau, initiating its most fruitful period of activity. Gropius designed a new building for the school which has since come to be seen not only as the Bauhaus’s spiritual talisman, but also as a landmark of modern, functionalist architecture. It was also here that the school finally created a department of architecture, something that had been conspicuously lacking in its previous incarnation. However, by 1928 Gropius was worn down by his work, and by increasing battles with the school’s critics, including conservative elements in German culture. He stood down, turning over the helm to the Swiss architect Hannes Meyer. Meyer, who headed up the architecture department, was an active communist, and incorporated his political ideas into student organizations and teaching programs. The school continued to grow in strength, but criticism of Meyer’s Marxism grew, and he was dismissed as director in 1930. After local elections brought the Nazis to power in Dessau in 1932, the school was again closed and relocated, this time to Berlin, where it would see out the final year of its existence.

In Berlin, the Bauhaus briefly survived under the direction of the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a famous advocate of functionalist architecture latterly associated, like Gropius, with the so-called International Style. Mies van der Rohe struggled with far poorer resources than his predecessors had enjoyed, however, and with a faculty that had been stripped of many of its brightest stars. He attempted to extricate politics from the school’s curriculum, but this brief rebranding effort was unsuccessful, and when the Nazis came to power nationally in 1933, the school was closed indefinitely under intense political pressure and threats.

Later Developments – After Bauhaus

In the decades following its closure, the influence of the Bauhaus would travel as far as its former faculty members, many of whom were forced to flee Europe as the stultifying effects of Fascism took hold. After his relocation to the United States in 1937, Gropius taught at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and was seen as vital in introducing International Style architecture to America and the Anglophone world. So too was Mies van der Rohe, who arrived in the U.S.A in the same year as Gropius, becoming Director of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Four years earlier, Josef Albers had been appointed head of the painting programme at the legendary Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where his students included Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly. After his own flight from Germany in 1933, the Jewish-born Hungarian László Moholy-Nagy formed what later became the Institute of Design in Chicago.

In the years following the Second World War, the national legacy of the Bauhaus was also revived, through the formation of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm in 1953. This school was in many ways the spiritual successor of the Bauhaus, with former Bauhaus student Max Bill appointed as its first rector. Bill, Moholy-Nagy, and Albers were especially important in adapting the Bauhaus philosophy to a new era: Moholy-Nagy and Albers refashioned it into one more suitable to a modern research university operating in a market-oriented culture, while Bill played a significant role in spreading geometric abstraction throughout the world in the form of Concrete Art, a successor movement to Constructivism.

Bauhaus interiors – 24 Bauhaus-inspired designs

This week I was very excited to be invited (live!) on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme to talk about Bauhaus interiors. Tying in with the 100th anniversary of the influential design movement this year, I followed after Deyan Sudjic, director of London’s Design Museum, to explain how Bauhaus design could still fit in today’s homes. Because even if you don’t really know what the Bauhaus is (when I mentioned to my parents I was going on the radio, they didn’t have a clue what the Bauhaus was…) you’ve probably come across a piece of Bauhaus design or have elements of it in your own home without really realising it.

The MR collection by Mies van der Rohe, released in new leathers and coverings for 2019 by Knoll. Image: Knoll, courtesy of Aram Store

In this post, I thought I’d expand on the interview and talk you through what Bauhaus means for today’s interiors, why it’s still relevant and how you can get the look (sometimes for less) in your own space. Let’s go!

What is the Bauhaus?
The Bauhaus was an art school that was established by architect Walter Gropius in Germany in 1919. They wanted to bring together architecture, interior design, crafts and textiles and put it on the same level as fine art – unifying creativity and modern manufacturing.

I think it says a lot that what was once the name of a school – that only survived for only 14 years before it was closed by the Nazis – has gone on to encompass a whole look or style; the Bauhaus style.

The Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, in production by Knoll. Image: Knoll, courtesy of Aram Store

How has the Bauhaus translated from architecture into the things we might have in our homes?
The Bauhaus has had a huge impact on interior design and modern furniture. The Bauhaus style is all about reducing things down to their basic elements and it’s synonymous with clean, pared-back spaces and streamlined forms.

It really paved the way for minimalism, influencing everything from open-plan living and fitted kitchens to folding chairs and flatpack furniture. Even our iPhones and compact tablets have Bauhaus to thank for.

Because the designs were simple, they could be repeated and made more efficiently using mass production and industrial techniques. So Bauhaus really revolutionised design, making it more democratic and accessible to all.

How can Bauhaus interiors or a piece of Bauhaus design be recognised?
The basic principle of the Bauhaus is ‘Form follows function’. That means that designs were made to be functional, practical, useful and simple, often before their beauty was considered. Bauhaus designs are defined by a lack of ornament, the use of clean lines, smooth surfaces and geometric shapes. They also utilised materials that were new and revolutionary for the time (most furniture in the 1920s was made of wood) – tubular steel, glass, plywood and plastic, for instance.

Today in terms of Bauhaus-inspired designs, we’re seeing lightweight furniture on impossibly thin, slender, straight legs, multifunctional designs that can adapt for different uses, and textiles with block patterns, geometric shapes and pops of bright colours.

What designs are particularly emblematic of the Bauhaus style?
Some of the original Bauhaus designs are still in production and several brands are reissuing limited editions to celebrate the anniversary.

The Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer, in production by Knoll. Image: Knoll, courtesy of Aram Store

The most iconic designs were revolutionary in their use of steel and metal – they had a machine aesthetic and utilised new industrial techniques to create some that was clear, distilled down and simple. The Wassily chair, for instance, was designed in 1925-6 by Marcel Breuer. Inspired by the lightweight frame of a bicycle, he experimented with tubular steel to create a club chair that was reduced down to its basic lines and elements.

The Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, in production by Knoll. Image: Knoll, courtesy of Aram

The Barcelona chair was designed by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exposition. It’s a low lounge chair built on a simple x-shaped frame – you’ve probably seen it in stylish offices or art gallery lobbies across the world. This year Knoll is releasing a limited run of 365 Barcelona chairs in special leather and black chrome – one for every day of the anniversary year (available from Aram Store).

A new edition of Mies van der Rohe’s cantilever chair S 533 F from German brand Thonet. Image: Thonet

I mentioned in a recent post that German brand Thonet has produced a re-edition of the classic cantilever chair S 533 F, originally designed by Mies van der Rohe. The new limited edition, reinterpreted by interdisciplinary Studio Besau-Marguerre, comes in two harmonious, softly muted colours.

Knoll has also released a special Bauhaus Edition of the MR collection of lounge chairs, chaise longues and stool in new fabric and leathers.

A special Bauhaus Edition of the MR collection released by Knoll. Image: Knoll, courtesy of Aram Store

There’s also the Wagenfeld table lamp by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, which has been released by Tecnolumen this year in a new limited edition silver plated version (available at Aram Store). Designed in 1923, it was made as part of an assignment in the Bauhaus workshop set by Bauhaus teacher László Moholy-Nagy. The frosted glass bulb has been endlessly copied and there’s echoes of the design in a lot of contemporary lamps today.

Here’s some designs you might recognise and some that, to me, feel inspired by the Bauhaus and it’s values:

1. Wagenfeld WA 24 silver lamp Bauhaus anniversary edition, £1080, Aram Store
2. Schneid Karma Junit lamp, £220, Opumo
3. Coat hanger by Menu, £109.96, The Conran Shop
4. Metal trivet, £27.56, Etsy
5. 280 Zig-Zag Chair by Gerrit Rietveld, £1,440, The Conran Shop
6. Edina square/circle mirror, £225, Habitat
7. Insert side table by Ferm Living, £489, Insidestore
8. Kilo nest of tables, £95, Habitat
9. Bauhaus bar trolley by Kristina Dam, £465, Opumo
10. Bauhaus Plate, £89, Darkroom
11. S32 Cantilever chair by Marcel Breuer for Thonet, 780 euros, Connox
12. Form stainless steel giftset by Tom Dixon, £125, Tom Dixon
13. Blue/grey Jama-khan cushion by Tiipoi, £55, Opumo
14. Geometric Cup and Saucer, £38, Aram Store
15. Lane rug, £170, Habitat
16. Dora clothes stand by Ferm Living, £179, Insidestore
17. Forestrywool Stage black/white blanket, £115, Opumo
18. Palissade lounge chair by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for HAY, £349, SCP
19. Kubus bowl by By Lassen, £128, The Finnish Design Shop
20. Laccio table by Marcel Breuer for Knoll, £528, Skandium
21. Wassily chair in natural canvas by Marcel Breuer for Knoll, £1,488, The Conran Shop
22. Dash candlestick by Kristina Dam, £45, Opumo
23. Kaiser idell 6631 Luxus table light by Christian Dell for Fritz Hansen, £576, The Conran Shop
24. D42 Armchair natural cane by Mies van der Rohe for Tecta, £1,895, The Conran Shop

Is it possible to get the look of Bauhaus interiors for less?
Yes, although iconic piece of original Bauhaus design can now set you back a few thousand pounds, there are ways to get the look for less (see above!).

Firstly, it’s worth noting that purchasing a piece of Bauhaus design is an investment and you’re unlikely to lose money on it in the long run. These pieces are really built to last. So that’s something to consider over something more affordable.

Secondly, a lot of shops and brands are jumping on the bandwagon of the anniversary, making it easier to find Bauhaus-inspired designs on the high street. I’m thinking of Habitat’s Lane rug, influenced by the work of weaver and Bauhaus teacher Anni Albers, or H&M’s new furniture range that uses a lot of thin, powder coated metal.

At the higher end of the spectrum, The Conran Shop in London is paying homage to the Bauhaus with their SS19 collection. They’ve curated a collection of products from designers who are continuing the Bauhaus legacy, including new exclusive collaborations from Matthew Hilton, Samuel Wilkinson and Daniel Schofield.

As there are a lot of Bauhaus events going on this year for the anniversary, it could also be a case of going to an exhibition or show, picking up a poster or postcard and displaying it at home – you’d have a piece of art for next to nothing.

Thirdly, because the Bauhaus style is all about reducing things and taking a considered, minimal approach, it’s not a style where you need to recreate the whole look to have an impact. It could just be one or two pieces that transform your space. Unlike a lot of trends, it’s not necessarily about adding more. Instead of buying a fake or replica, I would use elements of Bauhaus design to inspire your own style. You could consider what is already in your home and what you don’t necessarily need, tying in with the urge everyone’s got at the moment to organise and Marie Kondo-fy their home.

If it makes us consider more what we put in our homes and how things are made that can only be a good thing.

The MR Collection chaise longue by Mies van der Rohe, produced by Knoll. Image: Knoll, courtesy of Aram Store

Why has the Bauhaus style endured?
Any anniversary will create renewed interest. But I think Bauhaus design has endured and stood the test of time because they were so ahead of their time. Bauhaus designers, artists and architects were really imagining the building of the future and now you could say that we’re living in it. Unlike, say, the 70s or 80s which were really distinctive stylistically, the Bauhaus is a style that crosses different decades and eras – it can be hard to tell what was designed 100 years ago and what was designed last year because so much has been influenced by the Bauhaus. You know when a design has been popular when it has been copied several times over.

And because Bauhaus designs prioritised function and were carefully considered in relation to space, they have endured – this wasn’t style over substance (although some would argue they didn’t always put comfort first). Bauhaus designs still fit seamlessly into today’s homes – because they’re refined and functional, they still look contemporary. Simplicity just doesn’t date. I think Bauhaus design is particularly relevant at the moment in relation to small space urban living and today’s multifunctional homes.

The ideas and values behind the Bauhaus – from multidisciplinary working to minimalism and mass production – also remain important. The Bauhaus is not just a trend, it’s a way of thinking about design, the way we live and how we use our spaces. And that will continue to be relevant as that’s about people.

Examples of Bauhaus Graphic Design that Shaped the Movement – Eye on Design

Bauhaus design’s impact on today’s graphics is hard to overestimate. Associated with primary colors, thick straight lines slashing across white space, and that emphatically modern trilogy of circle, triangle and square, the movement’s legacy has now become easier to trace due to an online tool via Harvard Art Museums. Thanks to the digital archive, exceptional and marginal objects from the period are more accessible, and so today we look at 5 examples of graphic design from the collection that might be of surprise or buck the cliché.

The museum is home to one of the largest collections devoted to the Bauhaus, and more than 32,000 Bauhaus-related objects of a variety of media are now searchable by keyword, title, artist, medium, and date. You can browse through the paintings and photographs of Lyonel Feininger, admire typographic experiments and stark magazine spreads by László Moholy-Nagy, or simply stumble across unexpected objects like this three-tier Bauhaus Dessau building cake made for the 80th birthday of the movement’s founder, Walter Gropius. There’s artworks, sketches, and prints by the masters of the school (Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Mies van der Rohe, etc.), and also extensive examples of student output that allows you to engage with lesser-known elements from the period.

For those not familiar with the school’s history, a number of essays and a timeline with visual aids give a solid overview of the Bauhaus’ approach and developments, starting with its founding in 1919 to its dissolution in 1933. The online collection also traces the legacy of the school and its close ties with Harvard and Cambridge, MA, where Gropius settled in 1937 to teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Herbert Bayer, a key designer and typographer from the period, is known for developing the typeface Universal that was commissioned by Gropius in 1925. Its simplicity supported the ideals of functionalism and accessibility that the school famously championed, and its name underlined the idea of design as something that should be accessible to all. With the Harvard Art Museums archive, that spirit of accessibility lives on, as it engages new audiences with work that otherwise would be difficult to access.

The resource has emerged as part of the efforts of Robert Wiesenberger, the museum’s 2014-16 Stefan Engelhorn curatorial fellow and a specialist in graphic design from the period. We asked Wiesenberger to select five examples from the collection, some that might surprise and complicate what people normally imagine of when they think of Bauhaus. These picks strikingly exemplify the movement’s approach to typography, graphics, and poster design.

Last Dance, Invitation by Herbert Bayer. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

1. Last Dance invitation by Herbert Bayer, 1925

“This invitation by Herbert Bayer for the Bauhaus’s last dance in Weimar, before its move to Gropius’s iconic building in Dessau, is also an ironic last gasp for Dadaistic disorder. With the move, the Austrian student graduated to the role of Bauhaus master, and the school rebranded along stricter, rationalist lines and a greater emphasis on typographic sobriety.

“For the invitation, Bayer threw dingbats, Fraktur, and decorated script together, along with sans serif lettering that anticipates his signage on the Dessau building. The invitation promises fireworks, music from the Bauhaus band, and lottery prizes by masters Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, ‘and others.’”

Pamphlet for City of Dessau by Joost Schmidt, 1930. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum.

2. Pamphlet for City of Dessau by Joost Schmidt, 1930

“This back cover of Schmidt’s brochure makes the industrial city of Dessau look like the center of the world, or at least Germany. Schmidt indicates travel distances to other cities via car, train, and—in a modern sign of the times—plane, with concentric circles radiating outward. (The front cover features a photomontage of local highlights floating over an aerial view of the city).

“Like Bayer, Schmidt studied at the Bauhaus in Weimar before becoming a master, in sculpture and in printing and advertising. As the inscription shows, this brochure belonged to Josef Albers, who gave it to Harvard in the founding years of its Bauhaus collection.”

Research in Development of Universal Type by Herbert Bayer, 1927. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

3. Research in Development of Universal Type by Herbert Bayer, 1927

“You can see the working process in Bayer’s large (almost 15 x 24”) specimen of Universal, his famous single-case, geometrically derived typeface: there’s the indent of the compass used to construct the letterforms, the broad strokes in gouache, and the collaged corrections to the ‘g’ and ‘k’ (his handwritten legend indicates that these are ‘not yet finished’).

“The oversize red ‘d,’ a readymade logo on its own, is called out for its ‘precise optical effects.’ Yet formal purity did not always produce legibility, as is clear from some of the more awkward letters. Bayer iterated on Universal for five years, though it was never put into a production.”

Analysis of Rotogravure Page by Bertrand Goldberg, 1932-33.

4. Analysis of Rotogravure Page by Bertrand Goldberg, 1932-33. 

“This text is illegible, even up close. What look like letters are just marks, made to mimic a page of newsprint. Artist and master Josef Albers assigned students in his preliminary course to analyze what he called ‘typofacture,’ or the surface treatment of ink on paper and the letter and word spacing, and overall composition, of a printed page. The assignment is consistent with Albers’s strategy of de-familiarization to help see the world anew. The student, Chicago-born Bertrand Goldberg who designed the page studied at Harvard before attending the Bauhaus in its final two years, under Mies van der Rohe, and he later led a successful architectural office in America (his work includes Chicago’s Marina City towers, nicknamed ‘the corncobs’.)”

Design for Adler Automobile Showroom by Andor Weininger, 1933. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, © Estate of Andor Weininger/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

5. Design for Adler Automobile Showroom by Andor Weininger, 1933

“Though not well known, the Hungarian-born Andor Weininger was a model student of the early Bauhaus, active in architecture, painting, and stage design, and a fixture of the school’s jazz band. Andor and his wife Eva later collaborated on the design of a showroom for Adler automobiles (the commission came through Gropius, who designed cars for Adler, and tapped Bayer to create a prospectus). Here Weininger stages an intersection of exquisitely rendered cars in an abstract, perspectival space, the flooring picked out by incised lines. The Adler name reads forward and backward, though faint markings show that Weininger had considered a different orientation.”

90,000 Top 5 Documentary Films • Interior + Design

2019 marks the centenary of the modernist movement becoming a school. The Bauhaus has withstood forced relocation, political interference and eventual closure. Despite this and all the dramatic shifts in technology, taste and style in architecture, the Bauhaus remains one of the most significant phenomena in architecture and design education.

On the subject: Architecture and design in 2019: 10 most anticipated exhibitions

Some of the best Bauhaus documentaries are available online right now.They contain unique shots, exclusive interviews and unexpected discoveries.

1. Future is Now! 100 Years of Bauhaus DW Documentary, in collaboration with Planetfilm from Deutsche Welle, has released a three-part series of films about the history and design principles of the Bauhaus. The 52-minute episodes are available online in English, Spanish, Arabic and German.

Episode 1: What’s Behind the Successful Bauhaus Formula

Episode 2: How the Bauhaus Principles were Developed

Episode 3: Is a good life for everyone a utopia?

2.Bauhaus Dessau

ARTE TV has published a 33-episode documentary series about schools of architecture and architects who have had a huge historical and social impact. The first episode explores the achievements of the Bauhaus and its impact on modern architecture.

3. Bauhaus: The Face of the 20th Century

A 1994 documentary follows the history of the movement from its beginnings in Weimar to its last formation in Berlin.The video offers a comprehensive overview of the school, showing how its influence remains strong and important to contemporaries.

4. Reflections on the BSA: Walter Gropius

Boston Society of Architects / AIA published an interview with Walter Gropius. The first headmaster of the school, he eventually settled in Massachusetts after being exiled from his native Germany.

5.Bauhaus: Art as Life – An Insider’s Glimpse of Bauhaus Life

Barbican Center and Nicholas Fox Weber, Director of the Joseph and Annie Albers Foundation, on the unknown side of life in the Bauhaus. According to him, the Bauhaus was not just a “factory” of design innovations, but a place of high-profile parties, personal confrontations and scandals.

The premiere of The New Bauhaus: A Feature Documentary, produced by Opendox Production, will also take place in 2019.It will explore how Laszlo Moholy-Nagy brought the Bauhaus aesthetic to Chicago, featuring an unprecedented reporting on the Hungarian designer, including archival interviews with him, his colleagues and renowned curators.

The cult of geometric shapes: Bauhaus furniture

Simplicity of form and functionality are the basis of good design. This is the motto of the Bauhaus – an iconic trend in industrial design and architecture.

What is Bauhaus?

Bauhaus is a higher school of civil engineering and design, opened in Germany in 1919.The best representatives of the 20th century art taught at the Bauhaus: Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

It was in the Bauhaus that the eponymous, fundamentally new trend in architecture and industrial design was formed. The Bauhaus’ ideas changed not only the design of buildings, but also how everyday things should look.

Bauhaus-style furniture – what is it like?

The unofficial motto of the movement was the paradox proposed by Mies van der Rohe: The less is more (“less is more”).The main features of the Bauhaus style reflected in the furniture:

  • Concise geometric shapes;
  • Cross-plane design;
  • Minimum decor, maximum functionality.

In the photo: one of the first models of Bauhaus furniture – the armchair Genni created by the designer Mucchi Gabriele, Today it is made by the Zanotta factory.

In the photo: the famous armchair Barcelona , the silhouette of which represents the intersection of two planes.Produced by the Alivar factory.

The famous chair of the Eames spouses Eiffel Chair is perhaps the most famous representative of Bauhaus furniture. This iconic model has remained popular for several decades. This chair has many replicas, many modern factories make very similar models.

In the photo: on the left – the original Eames chairs, on the right – the Arketipo Athena dining chair.

Pictured: Bonaldo Loto W chairs, inspired by the shape of the famous Charles and Ray Eames chair.

Modern furniture in Bauhaus style

Bauhaus style furniture is still relevant today. Both originals and copies of famous models of the middle of the last century, as well as objects that embody the main features of this direction, are in demand.

Many of the iconic models of home furniture created in the middle of the 20th century are now produced by the Vitra factory.

A typical representative of the Bauhaus style is furniture on a frame made of metal tubes or thin strips of metal. Chairs, armchairs, sofas and chaise lounges of this type traditionally have soft rectangular leather pillows decorated with coarse stitching.

In the photo: the collection of Prisma chairs from the Alias ​​factory is a striking representative of the Bauhaus style.

Storage systems and other cabinet furniture in the Bauhaus style are distinguished by the predominance of rectangle and square shapes, contrasting finishes and laconic facades.

Furniture of the desired style is easy to find in IB Gallery

Are you looking for interior items in a specific style? In the IB salon, there is a service of selecting furniture from a photo or with the necessary parameters. Send us a request and the specialists of our salon will select furniture and lighting for you from the catalogs of more than 700 European factories.

Do you want to clarify the price and delivery time of the model you like to Moscow from the pages of our website? Call +7 (495) 642-83-60.

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White city. White City of Tel Aviv. An ode to the Bauhaus?

Tel Aviv has the highest concentration of modernist buildings in the 1930-1950s in the world.According to UNESCO, there are more than 4,000 of them here. Almost half of these buildings are included as the “White City in Tel Aviv – Architecture of the Modern Movement” in the World Heritage List. And for the convenience of classification and identification, UNESCO specialists have divided the city into three sectors: Center (A), Rothschild Boulevard (B) and Bialik Street area (C).

Kiryati House, st. Rubin, 12-14, architect Shmuel Mestechkin, 1938. Photo: Itzhak Kalter

The Israelis learned about the existence of an entire city in the Bauhaus style in their capital relatively recently – in 1984.thanks to an exhibition by the architect and architectural historian Michael Levin, where he tried to demonstrate the parallel between European modernism and the White City of Tel Aviv. The official version of this paradox was as follows: after the Nazis closed the school in 1933, its students scattered around the world, carrying with them the avant-garde principles of the Bauhaus and a specific vision of architecture.

About 1,500 objects of the White City have been restored, and about a thousand more are awaiting their turn

Many of them then settled in Palestine and built the White City.This idea appealed to Levin’s colleague, the famous defender of the architectural heritage, architect Nice Smuk. In 1994, she was appointed to the post of Chief Architect-Restorer for the Tel Aviv Municipality. She carried out an impressive research work: she identified buildings of the 1930s, compiled a list of those that are worth preserving, and developed a plan for the restoration of the city.

Allenby Street, Tel Aviv, 1944 Named after British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby, who conquered Palestine during World War I

The fruit of her professional research Smuk published in the book “Life in the Dunes”.It was she who applied to UNESCO for the inclusion of the White City sites in the World Heritage List and achieved its adoption, which happened in 2003. With the light hand of Smuk, the myth of the “Bauhaus-style city” suddenly became a reality, and it was well-publicized. Festivals, art and architectural exhibitions were organized with the involvement of venerable foreign architects dedicated to the “Tel Aviv Bauhaus”, entire press campaigns were developed and tourist routes were even laid, films were filmed and shown to the general public, and newspapers and advertising posters were full of real estate ads in ” Bauhaus style “.

Tel Aviv is the first city in the world to be almost entirely built in a modern style

“House-ship”, or the House of Shimon Levi, st. Levanda 56, architect Arie Cohen, 1934

A colossal plus from the hype that played out in those years was that the Bauhaus in Tel Aviv became the largest investment project, thanks to which it was possible to accumulate substantial funds for restoration. According to the latest data, about 1,500 objects of the White City have already been restored, and about 1,000 more are awaiting their turn.To understand how this happened, let’s turn to history.

Munio Weinraub-Gitai, Israeli architect, one of four Bauhaus students who returned to Israel. He studied at the Bauhaus School under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and later worked with him on numerous projects. He immigrated to Palestine, where he opened his own office and built over 8,000 buildings, including the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and the main synagogue in Haifa. He did not formally graduate from the training.Pictured is Munio Weinraub-Gitai at the Bauhaus in 1930.

Jacobson’s office building, st. Levantin, architect Emanuel Halbrecht, 1936 Rebuilding and restoration, Nitza Szmuk Architects, 2012

Tel Aviv. Founding Fathers

For the land of Israel, a witness of biblical events, Tel Aviv is very young. It is the first city in the world to be built almost entirely in a modern style. It appeared in 1909 northeast of the ancient, then still Arab-Turkish port of Jaffa (Jaffa).

Similar modernist residential buildings are found not only in the White City of Tel Aviv, but also in other places, for example, in Algeria and Casablanca

It is worth recalling that by the beginning of the XX century. Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire for almost four centuries. During the First World War, she was captured by the British. By 1917, they had taken Beersheba, Gaza and Jaffa, and finally Jerusalem. In 1922, the League of Nations gave Great Britain a mandate to govern Palestine, which lasted until 1948. After the end of World War II, the Arab-Jewish conflict escalated sharply.The British failed to resolve it, and they hastened to abandon the mandate. So on May 15, 1948, a new state appeared on the political map of the world – Israel. The dream of all Zionists has come true.

Patrick Geddes, Scottish urban planning theorist, biologist, architect, sociologist. He is the author of the first master plan for Tel Aviv, also participated in the development of the master plan for Jerusalem and Bombay. As a biologist, he worked with Darwin in his laboratory, then became interested in sociology, and from it he moved on to urban planning and architecture.Geddes formulated the thesis adopted by modern urbanism of the XXI century: “Urban planning is not planning space, it is working primarily with the urban community.”

Jewish settlements appeared around Jaffa until 1909. For example, the successful money changer and jeweler Aaron Chelush, who immigrated from Algeria, founded a school and a synagogue in his home, and from the 1870s began to buy up land around Jaffa, which, by the way, was not easy: the Turkish authorities forbade Jews to do this. Thanks to his connections with the Arabs, he managed to bargain for a large plot north of the old city.So in 1887 the Neve Tzedek district appeared, and the first Jewish house built outside Jaffa was Chelush’s own house, which has survived to this day.

Patrick Geddes’ master plan for Tel Aviv, 1925. 62-page cover of his project

UNESCO specialists divided the city into three sectors: Center (A), Rothschild Boulevard (B) and Bialik Street (C)

Map of Tel Aviv with a scheme of UNESCO zones

Neve Shalom grew up in 1890. In general, by 1909, there were about a dozen such quarters.They would have remained isolated areas if it had not been for the enterprising businessman and jeweler Akiva Arie Weiss, a native of Grodno. From the moment he disembarked at the Jaffa harbor in the summer of 1906, Weiss quickly gained considerable weight in the local Jewish community and initiated the Akhuzait-Bayt (House Builders) voluntary partnership, which included 66 Jewish families. He managed to ignite his compatriots with the idea of ​​a new bright liberal Jewish city, built from scratch, where it would be possible to revive the Jewish way of life and culture.

Bronze slab on one of the pavements of the White City of Tel Aviv, installed in 2003 in honor of its inclusion in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

This was not the idea of ​​a traditional kibbutz commune, but of a place without trade, a garden city, where a new urban Jewish elite is being nurtured. Weiss even enlisted the support of the executive department of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kaemet le-Israel).

With the help of the Dutch Jewish banker Jacobus Kann, the Ahuzait-Bayt members were able to buy an 11-hectare plot of sand dunes on the shores of the Mediterranean, north of Jaffa and south of two isolated Jewish quarters: Neve Tzedek and Yemen.To ensure that everything was fair and transparent in the distribution of plots, Weiss organized a “shell lottery”. He collected 66 white and 66 black shells on the shore, wrote on some of the names of the equity holders and the numbers of plots on others, and a ten-year-old boy from the community chose one shell from each pile in turn. April 11 marks the 110th anniversary of this memorable event.

Ours in the White City
Did you know that the Ukrainians also built the White City? For example, the author of the Dizengoff Square project, Zhenya Averbukh, was born in Smela.Joseph Barski, who built the famous Herzliya gymnasium in Tel Aviv and recently renovated a kiosk on Rothschild Boulevard, was from Odessa. He graduated from the Architectural College at the Odessa Art School. M. B. Grekov and the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. Dov Karmi, who designed over a hundred buildings in Tel Aviv, was also born in Odessa. Zeev Rechter, just Veva for his own people, who, among other things, developed the project of Allenby Street, one of the main streets in the capital, studied architecture in Nikolaev.One of the most prolific Israeli architects, Yehuda Megidovich, who built about 500 (!) Buildings in Tel Aviv, is also from Ukraine. This is one of the first architects who worked even before the appearance of the White City.

Geddes Plan

Quite quickly, Tel Aviv turned from a suburb into an independent city and even got its first mayor. It was Meir Dizengoff, who had the idea of ​​making his city a modern progressive metropolis. In 1919, he invited urban planner Patrick Geddes to develop the general plan of Tel Aviv.Scottish by birth, he proposed an idea based on the traditional British garden city concept.

Geddes began work on the master plan in 1925. His 62-page proposal connected the Akhuzait-Bayt settlement with other Jewish districts and covered the territory inside Mapu, Bugrashov and Ibn Gvirol streets, as well as the Yarkon River and the coast. The “Geddes Plan”, which assumed four types of streets, including two main roads parallel to the coastline, was adopted in 1929. He planned to make the transverse streets commercial, and turn the longitudinal streets into green boulevards or residential streets, all of which connected the city structure with by the sea.Between the grid of these streets, Geddes placed urban blocks of similar typology. Ideally, they were a square with sides of 200 m, sandwiched between four main streets, but their modification slightly changed depending on the terrain and other conditions. Geddes did not dictate the architectural style of the buildings, but the core of Tel Aviv was completely built according to his design. It is to him that the city owes the fact that the houses here are oriented so that they are always blown by a fresh sea breeze.

Arie Sharon, one of the most famous Israeli Bauhaus alumni. A native of Poland. After graduating from the Bauhaus, he worked for some time in the Berlin architectural workshops. Member of Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. From 1948 to 1953 headed the government’s Office of Design and played a significant role in shaping the architectural appearance of many new settlements. In the photo, Arye Sharon poses on the square of the Forum complex of the Technion University in Haifa, 1964

Geddes planned 60 public gardens and parks (half of which were completed) woven into the urban fabric and also dispersed green spaces along streets and boulevards.The main recreational area is a beach promenade in the length of the entire city stretched along the sea. Geddes envisioned the city as a complex of interacting components, structured in hierarchical systems. He compared its growth to systems for moving water in leaves. With the growth of the city, its tissue should not be torn: for this it was necessary to introduce the poles of attraction there, around which the streets will develop – like blood vessels in the human body.

Jacob Ben-Sira, who served as a city engineer, helped to implement the Geddes plan.Together with the Jewish architects from Europe who returned in the 1930s or, as they say, who made aliyah, Jewish architects from Europe: Bauhaus graduate Arie Sharon, former employee of Erich Mendelssohn Joseph Neufeld, student of Le Corbusier Zeev Rechter, follower of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard and others , he immediately took a course on the international style as the most progressive architectural movement, consistently defended and implemented it in Tel Aviv. Until this moment, the city was the embodiment of eclecticism.

House number 130 on the street. Ben-Yehuda, architects Arie El-Hanani (Lev Sapozhnikov) and Yaakov Yarost, 1935

Ben Sira is considered the initiator and executor of many large projects that later formed modern Tel Aviv, and the “creator” of the White City. “In the 20-30s. six thousand buildings have grown here, – said the historian of architecture Michael Levin in one of his interviews. “This city is the message of modernists and optimists who believed that architecture could improve society.

With a light hand Smuk, the myth of the “Bauhaus city” suddenly became a reality

People from different countries with their own traditions were building a new country, a better world, they could handle any utopias. Thus, Tel Aviv was built with faith in the industrial revolution and progress, but at the heart of its plan is an antidote to machines: the British idea of ​​a garden city. There are many gardens in Tel Aviv, and the houses are set up to let in the Mediterranean breeze … ”.

Nitsa Metzger-Smuk, Israeli architect, restorer, professor, author of Life in the Dunes, which contains examples of modernist architecture of the 1930s in Tel Aviv.She studied architecture in Florence, where she later worked on the preservation of historic buildings. In 1990, she returned to Tel Aviv, where she was soon appointed to the post of chief architect and restorer of the city. In 1994 she organized a grandiose festival “Bauhaus in Tel Aviv”, having managed to attract prominent architects from different countries. The inclusion of the White City in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites is entirely her merit. In 2003, she opened her own bureau specializing in architectural conservation, managed to restore and rebuild a number of buildings from the municipality’s watchdog list.

Rothbard and the Bauhaus War

When in 2003 UNESCO included the White City in the list of world cultural heritage, which became the apogee of the PR campaign stretching for almost two decades called “Bauhaus in Tel Aviv”, a number of festive events swept through the city, including at the state level … At first, the architect, professor, famous publicist and writer Sharon Rothbard was puzzled by all this hype, and then it became completely annoying. And he tried to understand this strange phenomenon.Rothbard even deliberately moved from the Jewish part of the city to the Shapira district, one of the poorest and most dangerous in Arab Jaffa. The result of his research was the book “White City, Black City. Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa “, published in 2005, where he quite emotionally debunks the myth of the” city in the Bauhaus style. ”

The building of the Cinema Hotel (formerly the cinema “Esther”) on Dizengoff Square, st. Zamenhof, 1, architect Yehuda Megidovich, 1939

He begins by saying that the city is not white at all, but rather gray, and he quotes his mentor Jean Nouvel, who visited Tel Aviv in November 1995.“I was told this city is white. Do you see white? I am not, ”said the Frenchman, looking at the panorama of Tel Aviv from the rooftop. They say he even suggested including shades of white in local SNiPs in order to really “turn the city into a symphony in white.” Because of the low-rise buildings, there is little shade here and the sun blinds: this loses all colors and the city really looks white. Rothbard believes that the myth of whiteness is maintained for the sake of political conjuncture.

Only four Bauhaus graduates returned to Israel and they did not build many buildings

As for the legend of Tel Aviv as a “city in the Bauhaus style”, it is far from the truth.Firstly, only four Bauhaus graduates have returned to Israel, and during their careers they have built not so many buildings, and not all of them in the capital. “The first of them is the architect Shlomo Bernstein; he studied there for two semesters and then returned to Tel Aviv, where he spent most of his professional life in the engineering department of the municipality. The second, Munio Weinraub-Gitai, upon his return from the Bauhaus, worked in Haifa and elsewhere in northern Israel. There, he built a number of unique structures in the spirit of Mies van der Rohe – they were sharply different from the examples of architectural design that flooded the country at that time, and their main feature was an increased attention to detail and building technology.The third Bauhaus student was Shmuel Mestechkin, according to whose projects several apartment buildings were built in Tel Aviv at that time (Smuk writes about only one of them), but he was mainly involved in various activities in the underground organization “Haganah” and was associated with the popular that time by the movement of the kibbutzniks.

A sketch of one of the modernist buildings of the 1930s. in the White City of Tel Aviv

Shmuel Mestechkin, Israeli architect, Bauhaus graduate.Originally from Vasilkov near Kiev. He made Aliyah in 1915 with his parents and brother. After graduating from the Bauhaus, he returned to Israel and began working in the office of Joseph Neufeld. At one time Mestechkin headed the department of cards in Palmach. From his youth he shared socialist views and even founded the youth movement Khanoar Haoved (“Working Youth”), and carried away by the kibbutznik movement, he designed kibbutz Hashomer Hatztair and built public buildings in kibbutz Naan, Ramat Hakovesh, Mizra and Ashdot Yaakov

The only local architect who studied at the Bauhaus who clearly left his mark on Tel Aviv (and probably in Israeli architecture in general) was Aryeh Sharon.But he also did not quite fit to substantiate the Tel Aviv urban-planning legend. The main problem was that he remained faithful to the Bauhaus ideas until the very end, and all his rectangular, pragmatic designs did not at all resemble the stylized boxes that became associated with the Tel Aviv Bauhaus style, ”Rothbard writes in his book.

Tel Aviv modernism really differs from the European one and, above all, in form: instead of the usual Corbusian cubes, there are rounded corners, and the main attribute of local buildings is the soft lines of rounded concrete balconies.

Secondly, upon their return from Germany, Bernstein, Weinraub-Gitai, Mestechkin and Sharon never worked together, never spoke of themselves as a collective. Each of them made their own contribution to the architecture of Israel. In addition, the representatives of the Bauhaus themselves were categorically against the idea of ​​putting an identity sign between the architecture of the White City and the Bauhaus. Sharon even insisted that the Bauhaus – and he used it exclusively as a household name – was not a style at all. And for this reason, it is absurd to designate the architecture of Tel Aviv by them.“We need to change the wording. Why? Because the Bauhaus is not a concept or even a single institution, ”he said in an interview with artist Ygal Tumarkin for Kav magazine.

Ben-Ami Shulman, famous Israeli architect, who worked in Tel Aviv from 1931 to 1947. Author of the first modernist building in the White City of Tel Aviv. Studied with Victor Hort, one of the founders of the Art Nouveau style, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. In 1947 he immigrated to Canada, Montreal, and later moved to Los Angeles, where he ended his days, leaving a significant architectural heritage in California

Sharon also notes that the Bauhaus era ended in the 30s, while most of the White City was built in the 50s.Mostly commercial housing was built. This fact alone ran counter to the Bauhaus philosophy of total happiness, which promoted affordable housing and high-quality aesthetic design for everyone. The first social houses were designed by Arie Sharon closer to the 1950s. This was the first cooperative dormitory for workers: he convinced the owners of several sites to unite and build cooperative houses instead of private ones. There were also supposed to be social establishments: a canteen, a laundry, a kindergarten. The inspiration for this building was the Bauhaus school in Dessau.This is one of the few buildings in Tel Aviv that meets the principles of the Bauhaus.

According to Sharon Rothbard, the White City as a legacy of the Bauhaus – an architectural myth

According to Rothbard, the White City as a legacy of the Bauhaus is an architectural myth formed for many reasons, including political, it is beneficial to everyone except for the part of the city that does not participate in this celebration of life – old Jaffa, the memory of which is almost erased , and the demarcation – both physical and socio-cultural – is increasingly noticeable.

/ Published in Pragmatika volume # 11, May 2019/

90,000 Gothic, Baroque, Art Nouveau: where to see the best examples of architecture in the world :: Design :: RBC Real Estate

Studying architecture is interesting not only from books, but also in practice.Romanesque cathedrals in Germany, baroque palaces in France, modernist houses in Israel. We tell you where to go to master the theory

Photo: Antonia Felipe / Unsplash

It is not always possible to protect architectural monuments from time, climatic circumstances, and sometimes even human negligence.Notre-Dame-de-Paris, which stood for several centuries, burned down from the carelessness of the workers. So it’s sometimes worth a lot to see historical architecture live.

Romanesque style

The architectural style of the 11th – 13th centuries, which in the 19th century began to be called Romanesque, was widespread in Western Europe. Before that, all medieval architecture was called Gothic. The surviving examples of the Romanesque style – castles, cathedrals and monasteries – can be recognized by thick walls with narrow lancet windows, towers with hipped roofs and massive appearance.The Middle Ages was a period of constant internecine wars, so the thickness of the walls was not a fashion, but a protection against attack. The Romanesque style came back into fashion in the 19th century: in Canada and the United States, there are many buildings that are built in the image of the medieval ones.

Photo: Priscilla Fraire / Unsplash

Where to watch: Durham Cathedral (Durham, UK), Lisbon Cathedral (Lisbon, Portugal), Worms Imperial Cathedral (Worms, Germany), Dunnottar Castle (East Coast of Scotland), Notre Dame la Grande (Poitiers , France).

In contrast to the Romanesque, Gothic cathedrals stretch upward due to spire-like towers and arches, their walls are thinner, and their facades are decorated with thousands of sculptures, statues and stucco. Stained-glass windows were the main feature of the period. One of the most impressive examples of stained glass art can be seen in the Parisian Saint Chapel. The stone churches of central Europe look austere and seem to have been the same from the moment they were built. But on the example of the Amiens Cathedral in France, it became clear that this is not so. In 1993, the facade of the building was cleaned with a laser and saw that many centuries ago it was painted in bright colors.Now on holidays the cathedral is illuminated with the same colors.

Photo: Colin Viessmann / Unsplash

Where to watch: Cologne Cathedral (Cologne, Germany), Reims Cathedral (France), St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Austria), Our Lady of Antwerp Cathedral (Belgium), St. Vitus Cathedral (Czech Republic), Westminster Abbey (England).

The Renaissance period is a return to the canons of ancient architecture in Greece and Rome. The shapes and lines of buildings are simplified, and projects have authors who document all stages of work on paper. That is why the names of the great architects of the Renaissance are well known. One of the founders of the style, Filippo Brunelleschi, worked in Florence. In this Italian city you can see the main buildings of the era: the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Santa Maria del Fiore, the Uffizi Gallery. One of the main examples of the late Renaissance, when the style began to lose its severity of form, but still dominated architecture, was St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.

Photo: Jonathan Korner / Unsplash

Where to see: Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici Riccardi (Florence, Italy), Palazzo della Cancelleria (Rome, Italy), Palazzo Canossa (Verona, Italy).

Baroque architecture brought excesses into fashion. One of the most famous architects of this style is Lorenzo Bernini, the author of the colonnade in the square in front of the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rome. The famous “Rock of Regja”, which leads to the main hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, is an example of the Baroque style in the interior. True, ordinary tourists can see it only in the photo, the entrance there is open only to high-ranking guests. During the Baroque period, European monarchs rebuilt palace complexes with adjoining parks to showcase their wealth and power.Sicily got its own style thanks to the eruption of Mount Etna, which caused an earthquake there in 1693. Many churches and palaces had to be rebuilt, and local architects brought local flavor to the classical Baroque. This is how the Sicilian Baroque appeared.

Photo: Serguei Fomine / Global Look Press

Where to look: Winter Palace, Stroganov Palace (St. Petersburg, Russia), Versailles (Paris, France), Church of St. John of Nepomuk (Munich, Germany), Royal Palace (Madrid, Spain).

The architecture of classicism once again marked the return to the samples of ancient architecture, where the main principle was the geometry of forms and proportion. You can recognize this style by the colonnaded porticoes, which were used in almost any design of the house. In the UK, the style has developed more clearly. Having studied the legacy of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio, British architects deduce the neoclassical style that began to spread in the Old and New World.For example, the eastern facade of the Louvre, designed by Claude Perrault (brother of the famous writer Charles Perrault), is a pure example of style in France.

Photo: Sergey Kovalev / Global Look Press

Where to watch: Pantheon (Paris, France), Bolshoi Theater (Warsaw, Poland), Pashkov House, Bolshoi Theater (Moscow, Russia), Borisoglebsky Monastery (Torzhok, Russia).

The style of the late XIX – early XX centuries in different countries was called differently: Art Nouveau – in France, Belgium, Holland, England and the USA, Jugendstil – in Germany, liberty – in Italy, modern – in Russia. It developed into an independent architectural style from the decorative arts. Houses of this period are richly decorated with ornaments, mosaics, stained-glass windows with plant motifs both outside and inside. Wealthy Russian merchants and industrialists were the main customers of residential buildings in the Art Nouveau era, and architects tried to surpass each other with the pretentiousness of facades and interior interiors.True, contemporaries did not always understand this bizarre beauty and considered some mansions to be ugliness.

Photo: Konstantin Kokoshkin / Global Look Press

Where to watch: Ryabushinsky’s mansion, Morozov’s mansion, Nosov’s mansion (Moscow, Russia), Batlló’s house (Barcelona, ​​Spain), Secession’s house (Vienna, Austria), National theater (Helsinki, Finland).

Modernism unites several directions in architecture, which were called differently, but pursued a common task – to subordinate the architecture to functionality. Thus, the Bauhaus was born in Germany, and constructivism in Russia. The Bauhaus movement began in Weimar, where theorists of the new architecture worked. In the mid-1930s, the Bauhaus was actively developing in Palestine, where Jewish architects emigrated from Germany, therefore, entire streets in the Bauhaus style have survived in Tel Aviv. 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the direction for which a museum was built in Dessau.The architecture of the USSR developed in a different direction and served as an instrument of political propaganda. One of the monuments of that era – the building of the People’s Commissariat for Finance in Moscow – will receive a second life in the coming years. In 2017, the grandson of the architect and author of the project, Moisei Ginzburg, began restoration work to restore the building.

Photo: Joel Filipe / Unsplash

Where to watch: Melnikov House, Narkomfin House, Zuev House of Culture (Moscow, Russia), Bauhaus Complex in Dessau (Germany), Bauhaus Archive (Berlin, Germany), Bauhaus Museum (Tel Aviv, Israel).

90,000 Modern Movement in Tel Aviv 0 According to UNESCO estimates, Tel Aviv has more than 4,000 modernist buildings from the early 1930s to 1950s: it is one of the largest massifs of architecture of this time in the world.About half of these structures are included as the “White City in Tel Aviv – Architecture of the Modern Movement” in the World Heritage List. At the same time, UNESCO researchers divided the city into three sectors: Center (A), Rothschild Boulevard (B) and the area of ​​Bialik Street (C_).

Scheme of UNESCO zones. Source: and borderlandlevant

In addition to the name “White City”, Tel Aviv modernism is also traditionally described by the term “Bauhaus”, which implies close ties of this architecture with the principles taught at the Bauhaus school.However, both of these names are not very correct, and they began to be actively used only in the mid-1980s. Despite the fact that there are not so many buildings in the city that correspond to the ideas of the Bauhaus, Google gives more images from Tel Aviv for the corresponding request than from Dessau or from anywhere else. A Bauhaz graduate Arie Sharon, one of the most “Tel Aviv” architects, pointed out that the “Bauhaus” is not a style, and therefore the use of this “label” is erroneous. But this definition stuck, it was picked up by the New York Times, real estate owners, the municipality.

With the name “White City” – an even more complex story. Sharon Rothbard in his recently translated into Russian book “White City, Black City” quotes the words of Jean Nouvel, his teacher, who came to Tel Aviv in November 1995. “I was told this city is white. Do you see white? I am not, ”said Nouvel, looking at the panorama of Tel Aviv from the rooftop. As a result, the French architect proposed incorporating shades of white into local SNiPs to truly “turn the city into a symphony in white.”

Tel Aviv is not white. Its low-rise buildings give little shade, there is nowhere to hide from the sun, it literally presses and blinds – and so the color disappears, and the city seems white. Rothbard claims to support the myth of whiteness for political purposes: the city’s emphasized Europeanization, its inclusion among the world’s leading capitals – the list goes on. More details about Sharon Rothbard’s point of view can be found in his book.

How it all began

Tel Aviv is a very young city for the ancient land of Israel.By the beginning of the 20th century, Palestine had been part of the Ottoman Empire for almost 400 years, so in the First World War it turned out to be the territory of the enemy of the Entente and, as such, was attacked by the British army. The British invaded Palestine from the south and, defeating the Turks, occupied the country: by the end of October 1917 they took Beersheba, Gaza and Jaffa, and on December 11, 1917, General Allenby’s troops entered Jerusalem. In the Middle East, the British regime was established under the mandate of the League of Nations. It lasted from 1922 until May 15, 1948.

After 1945 Great Britain became involved in the aggravated Arab-Jewish conflict. In 1947, the British government announced its desire to abandon the Palestine Mandate, arguing that it was unable to find an acceptable solution for Arabs and Jews. The United Nations, created shortly before that, at the Second Session of its General Assembly on November 29, 1947, adopted Resolution No. 181 on the plan for the partition of Palestine into an Arab and Jewish state, with the granting of a special status to the Jerusalem area.A few hours before the end of the mandate, on the basis of the Plan for the Partition of Palestine, the State of Israel was proclaimed, and this happened on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv.

But before this historic moment, Tel Aviv had managed to emerge and become a prominent city in the Middle East – and in just a few decades. In 1909, sixty Jewish families gathered to the northeast of the ancient, at that time – predominantly Arab-Turkish port of Jaffa (Jaffa) and divided the land they had acquired by lot.These settlers worked in Jaffa itself, and next to it they wanted to create a cozy residential suburb for life – Akhuzat Bayt. There they erected eclectic mansions and other structures that can still be seen in part in the Carmel market area. It is important to note that earlier Jewish quarters appeared around Jaffa: Neve Tzedek – in 1887, Neve Shalom – in 1890. There were about ten such quarters by the date of Akhuzait-Bayt’s creation. But it was the founders of Akhuzat Bayt who wanted to organize for themselves a new space, a different environment from Jaffa, whose task was to create Hebrew culture.The key building there was the Herzliya gymnasium, the first public building in the new city. This is the point from which the entire city begins to turn towards the sea, so many buildings and streets follow a triangular plan. In the 1950s, the city changed a lot, the center was shifted to the north, and the area was in decline. The gymnasium was demolished, and its new building was erected on Jabotinsky Street, closer to the Yarkon River. The first Israeli skyscraper “Shalom Meir” appeared in its old place.

Shalom Meir skyscraper.Photo © Denis Esakov

Shalom Meir skyscraper. Photo © Denis Esakov

But let’s return to the dawn of the 20th century, when the history of Tel Aviv began. Its name was taken from the Zionist leader and publicist Nachum Sokolov: in 1903 he translated from German into Hebrew the utopian novel of the founder of the World Zionist Organization Theodor Herzl “Altnoiland” (“Old New Land”) called “Tel Aviv” (“Hill of Spring / Rebirth “), Referring to the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (3:15):” And I came to the displaced persons in Tel Aviv, who lived by the river Chebar, and stopped where they lived, and spent seven days among them in amazement. “

This is how Tel Aviv took its most important place in history: the first Jewish city in the modern world, the first Zionist urban settlement in Palestine.

Geddes Plan

Patrick Geddes’ plan for Tel Aviv. 1925. Cover of his 1925 publication

Tel Aviv quickly grew from a suburb into an independent city, and he had the first mayor – Meir Dizengoff, who cherished the hope of turning the city entrusted to him into a metropolis.In 1919, he met with the Scottish sociologist and urban planner Patrick Geddes and discussed with him a plan for the development of a city for 40 thousand people. However, Dizengoff’s plans were even more ambitious: he hoped that Tel Aviv would grow to 100 thousand inhabitants.

Geddes was entrusted with the development of the master plan for Tel Aviv, which he based on the concept of a “garden city”, so popular at the beginning of the 20th century. The territory of the nascent city was divided into many sections of single-family houses. Geddes has planned 60 public gardens (half of which have been completed), and landscaping is also scattered along the streets and boulevards.The main recreational area is a beach promenade in the length of the entire city stretched along the sea. Geddes designed the city as a complex of interacting components structured into hierarchical systems. He compared the growth of a city to systems for moving water in leaves. With the growth of the city, its tissue should not be torn: for this it is necessary to introduce the poles of attraction there, around which the streets will develop – like blood vessels in the human body. For example, beautiful boulevards will attract strolling people, and on the shopping streets crossing them, flailing townspeople will turn into buyers.

Patrick Geddes’ plan was approved in 1926, and in 1927 it was ratified by the Central Committee for Urban Planning for Palestine.

International style

In the early 1930s, architects arrived in Tel Aviv from Europe: Bauhaus graduate Arieh Sharon, former employee of Erich Mendelssohn Joseph Neufeld, student of Le Corbusier Zeev Rech Ze’ev Rechter), follower of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Richard Kaufmann and others.Many of them unite and work out the principles of the Krug association and agree to jointly promote avant-garde architecture in the city under construction, as opposed to eclecticism. Later, other architects joined the group, many of whom emigrated from Germany due to the rise to power of the Nazis. The members of the “Circle” gathered every evening after work in a cafe and discussed urban problems, architecture, specific plans to promote their ideas.

The architects of “Circle” were not satisfied with the approved urban planning of Geddes, they called it traditionalist and outdated.It prevented them from realizing their ideas, so they wanted to arrange an “architectural revolt” – to overcome the official master plan and build only according to the principles of the modern movement. They were especially dissatisfied with two points: the principle of dividing the city’s territory into sections and the alignment of houses along the red line along the streets.

In 1929, Jacob Ben-Sira (Jacob Ben Sira, Yaacov Shiffman) was appointed to the post of city engineer. He was the initiator and executor of many large projects that later formed modern Tel Aviv, and therefore he is called the “creator” of the White City.Ben Sira reworked the general plan of Geddes, as it was believed that it was preventing the city from developing, expanded the city to the north and united areas in the south and east that were not part of the Geddes plan. He consistently defended and implemented an international style in Tel Aviv.

A graduate of the St. Petersburg Institute of Civil Engineers, Alexander Klein, in his general plan for Haifa, also based on organic associations: the city should resemble a network of vessels of a tree leaf. When leaving the house, a person should see the green spaces necessary for “mental hygiene”, which are crossed by streets every 600-700 meters.Klein considered the boulevards non-functional and meaningless: children do not play there, and adults do not walk. However, the boulevards of Tel Aviv proved the opposite: both Rothschild Boulevard and Ben Ziona are actively used by citizens and businesses.

Krug actively promoted its ideas. The influential French magazine Architecture aujourd’hui dedicated a special issue to the new Palestinian architecture for the 1937 Paris World’s Fair; Architectural critic and historian Julius Posener, who became their “voice”, wrote about the ideas and projects of the members of the “Circle”.As a result, the idea of ​​the need to build up Tel Aviv with modern, progressive architecture finds support in society, and its influence is so strong that even the neighbors – the Arab bourgeoisie – are building villas in an international style.

Until the 1930s and the then modernist “architectural attack”, according to Geddes, Tel Aviv was “a mishmash, a struggle of different tastes,” that is, the embodiment of eclecticism. Joseph Neufeld proposed to build the whole city in one – “organic” – way.However, this term should not be taken literally. Harmony is very important for Jewish architects, as it refers to perfection – the human body: there is no greater rationality than in the wonders of creation, and the most rational rationalism is organic. Researcher Catherine Weill-Rochant suggests that Israeli architects used the word “organic” instead of “rational”, not referring to organic architecture itself (say, F.L. Wright’s ideas). For them, modernist architecture is organic, divinely ideal.The functionality of architecture, the absence of frills is very organic, this is how a person is created. This term has been used all over the place.

For the most part, commercial housing was built. The first social homes appear closer to the 1950s. Bauhaus graduate Arie Sharon designed the first cooperative housing for workers: he convinced the owners of several sites to unite and build cooperative houses instead of private ones. There were also supposed to be social establishments: a canteen, a laundry, a kindergarten.Sharon’s project is inspired by the Bauhaus building in Dessau.

Architects, using the developments of the “Bauhaus”, meanwhile, did not go far in their experiments. They had a traditional attitude to space: a clear separation of private and public. First of all, this is noticeable on the streets. Despite the fact that buildings recede from the red line, fences or greenery support this line. The front and courtyard spaces are also interpreted as usual: the street facade is worked out to the details, and the rear one can often differ in decoration and elaboration for the worse, it is strictly utilitarian.The city still consists of streets, squares, boulevards, dead ends: no modernist innovations in planning, the syntax of the urban space remains classic. On a human scale, most houses are no more than three stories high, just as Geddes intended. This architecture does not overwhelm a person.

Analysis of the periodicals of that time shows that modern architecture was not a rational result of the general plan, but, rather, was built contrary to urban planners and traditional norms.The existing ensemble of modernist buildings is the result of an intense struggle between the forces that shaped the city: the city authorities, urban planners and architects.

An important point: then the British ruled Palestine, so they made all the decisions. However, the Tel Aviv authorities were able to ensure that major decisions (at the level of the general plan) were approved by British officials, and decisions at the level of districts, streets, buildings were taken without their participation. This made it possible for avant-garde architects to embody their ideas.


For the next 40 years, the international style of Tel Aviv was “overgrown with everyday life”: the balconies were glazed, the columns supporting the houses at the level of the first floors were covered with brick walls, the light color of the facades darkened with time, etc. The White City was dilapidated; however, in 1984 the historian and architect Michael Levin organized an exhibition dedicated to him in Tel Aviv. The question of preserving and reconstructing the “Bauhaus heritage” was raised. In 1994, the architect Nitza Metzger-Szmuk, the chief architect-restorer at the municipality, took up the idea of ​​the White City.She identified the buildings of the 1930s in order to compile a list of buildings to be preserved, mapped out a restoration plan for Tel Aviv, where she marked the perimeter of the White City, and in the summer of 1994 organized the Bauhaus in Tel Aviv festival, which brought together prominent architects from different countries, and throughout the city were held architectural, art and design exhibitions. Smuk drew up and applied for the inclusion of the White City in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which happened in 2003.

The first reaction came from property owners: prices per square meter in houses in the “Bauhaus style” skyrocketed. The slogans appeared in advertising brochures: “luxury apartments in the Bauhaus style”. The New York Times called the White City “the largest open-air Bauhaus museum.” Tel Aviv is beginning to perceive these buildings as a valuable heritage and as a means of attracting investment. Since then, there have been numerous studies and publications, restoration projects. And the posters, hung around the city, read: “Residents of Tel Aviv walk with their heads up … And now the whole world knows why!”

Zina Dizengoff Square.Photo © Denis Esakov

Zina Dizengoff Square. Photo © Denis Esakov

Zina Dizengoff Square. Photo © Denis Esakov

Zina Dizengoff Square.Photo © Denis Esakov

Zina Dizengoff Square
Architect Genia Averbuch, 1934

The square is named after the wife of the first mayor of Tel Aviv, Zina Dizengoff. Its layout, laid down in the plan of Geddes – a circle with a fountain in the center, serving as the intersection of three streets – Dizengoff, Rainer and Pinsker, cars were launched along its perimeter, while the parking under it was not realized. The area is surrounded by facades in a uniform, international style.
In 1978, the square was reconstructed by the architect Tsvi Lissar in order to solve traffic congestion problems: its surface was raised, allowing traffic flows under the square. And pedestrians climb there from the adjacent streets by stairs and ramps.
In 1986, the Yaacov Agam kinetic fountain, consisting of several huge moving gears, was installed on the square. Parts of the sculpture were set in motion by streams of water moving to the music. The fountain itself was illuminated with colored spotlights, and flames burst from its core to the rhythm of music from gas burners.Such a show was staged several times a day.
In the 21st century, the question of returning the square to its original appearance was raised, since the previously popular place for recreation and walks of the townspeople after the reconstruction in 1978 became only a transit space. The restoration of the square was started at the end of 2016.

Reisfeld House. Photo © Denis Esakov

Reisfeld House.Photo © Denis Esakov

Reisfeld House
Ha-Yarkon Street, 96
Architect Pinchas Bijonsky, 1935
Authors of the reconstruction – Amnon Bar Or Architects, 2009 Architects and Bar Orian 9000

One of the few houses in Tel Aviv with a courtyard: it has three wings, two of which overlook Ha-Yarkon Street and form this courtyard. The wings have a rounded shape, which was a typical solution for many Tel Aviv buildings in the 1930s.In 2009, the building was renovated, and four office floors were added over the main volume.

House of Polishchuk (“House-Elephant”). Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Polishchuk (“House-Elephant”).Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Polishchuk (“House-Elephant”). Photo © Denis Esakov

Polishchuk House (“House -Clone”)
Magen David Square, corner of Allenby and Nakhalat Binyamin Streets
Architects Shlomo Liaskowsky (Salomon Liaskowsky), Jacov Orenstein, Jacob Orenstein 1934

Due to its location on Magen David Square, where four streets intersect, Polishchuk’s house serves as a city landmark.The V-shaped outline of the building and its striped eaves accentuate the center of the building. Together with the reinforced concrete pergola on the roof, they form a single compositional solution, the rhythm of which accentuates the corner from the side of the square. The shape of the house reflects the influence of similar “corner” buildings by Erich Mendelssohn. It also echoes Beit Adar, Tel Aviv’s first office center.

House of Havoinik.Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Havoinik. Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Havoinik. Photo © Denis Esakov

Havoinik’s House
Montefiori Street, 1
Architect Isaac Schwarz, 1920
Authors of the reconstruction – Amnon Bar Or Architects, 2011 0

The first architect 9000 was Yehuda Magidovitch, and Isaac Schwartz created the final draft.
Historical three-storey building, acute-angled triangle in plan, was located opposite the rear facade of the Herzliya gymnasium. By the early 1990s, the house had almost completely collapsed, dividing the fate of the entire district, and in the process received new powerful reinforced concrete “neighbors”. But the building was reconstructed, becoming a symbol of the ambiguity of the law on the preservation and modern embodiment of the image of the White City.
In the new project, three more floors with tape windows have been added, stair junctions have been moved, a volume for an elevator shaft has been added, and the main facade has been straightened along the contour of the plot.All this created a discrepancy between the new and old parts of the Havoinika house. To solve the problem, a couple of false balconies were placed on the facade at the level of the fourth floor.
The building does not occupy the entire corner of the plot between Montefiori and Ha-Shahar streets, and the free space accommodates a green garden, which is very important in this dense urban environment. The turning angle of the house, which gave this opportunity, is the result of changing the direction of the street towards the sea according to Geddes’ plan.

House of Shimon Levi (“House-Ship”).Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Shimon Levi (“House-Ship”)
Levanda Street, 56

A building with a triangular plan connects three streets: Levanda, Ha-Masger and Ha- Rakevet. It was built on the Givat Marko hill above the Ayalon River valley in the northeastern corner of the Neve Shaanan area: this place is quite far from the center of Tel Aviv, where the buildings of the White City are mainly concentrated.
The corner façade emphasizes the U-turn of Ha-Rakevet, along which the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway passed, towards the sea.Initially, the project consisted of three floors, but in the process of construction, the height increased to six. This made it possible to use the roof of the building as an observation post for the units of the Haganah; the number of storeys and the location of the site made it possible to control a significant area around. The outline of the building is very narrow and relatively long. The verticality is also emphasized by the allocation of the volume of the staircase from the outside. The narrowed volume of the upper floor emphasizes the height of the house and, together with the dynamic arrangement of the balconies, creates the image of a fast-moving ship.

House of Shalem. Photo © Denis Esakov

Shalem House
Rosh Pina Street, 28

Marko Hill, where the house stands, is fortified by terraces with retaining walls, which creates a spectacular relief, where, in addition to the Shalem house , there are two more buildings in the international style: “Beit Sarno” and “Beit Kalmaro”.
The composition of the house with a rounded retaining wall under the end facade, together with the allocated volumes of balconies, echoes the adjacent Beit Haonia house.
Historically, this part of the Neve Shaanan area is a concentration of “folds” of physical and social space. Marko Hill was bought from the Arabs in the village of Abul Jiban, outside Tel Aviv’s municipal border, and was not covered by the Geddes plan. Next to the hill was a railway bridge, over which trains went from Jaffa north to Tel Aviv, and then returned south and turned towards Jerusalem.Below was the Ayalon Valley with a river filled with water from the hills of Samaria in winter. This place still retains its borderline character, although today it is embodied in a much less poetic form.

Text: Denis Esakov, Mikhail Bogomolny.
Photos: Denis Esakov

Hovevey Zion Street, 16.Photo © Denis Esakov

Bugrashev Street, 12.Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Kruskal. Architect Richard Kaufman, 1936. Photo © Denis Esakov

Allenby Street, 33. Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Gottgold.Architects Yehuda and Rafael Magidovich, 1935-1936. Photo © Denis Esakov

Ripstein House. Architect Yehuda Magidovich. 1934. Photo © Denis Esakov

Rothschild Boulevard, 79.Architects Joseph and Zeev Berlin, 1929. Rebuilding and restoration, architect Oded Rapoport, 2013. Photo © Denis Esakov

Rothschild Boulevard, 90. Photo © Denis Esakov

Brown-Rabinsky House.Architects Joseph and Zeev Berlin, 1932. Rebuilding and restoration, Bar Orian Architects, 2013. Photo © Denis Esakov

Krieger House. Architect Zeev Rechter, 1934. Photo © Denis Esakov

Samuelson’s House.Architect Haim Sokolinsky, 1932. Photo © Denis Esakov

Rothschild Boulevard, 1. Photo © Denis Esakov

Montefiore Street, 14. Photo © Denis Esakov

93 Allenby Street.Photo © Denis Esakov

Rosh Pina St., 17. Photo © Denis Esakov

Allenby Street, 140. Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Varsotsky and Zilberboygen.Architect R. Cohen. 1938. Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Shami (“House-Thermometer”). Architect Yehuda Llolka, 1936. Photo © Denis Esakov

Jacobson’s office building.Architect Emanuel Halbrecht, 1937. Rebuilding and restoration, Nitza Szmuk Architects, 2012. Photo © Denis Esakov

House of Chic. Architect Abraham Kabiri, 1934-1935. Photo © Denis Esakov

Rubinsky House.Architect Lucian Kornhold, 1936. Rebuilding and restoration, Amnon Bar Or Architects, 2008. Photo © Denis Esakov

Announcement of lectures “First Design Schools”

Design base: first associations and schools

William Morris was one of the first to write the coveted word “designer” in the column of professional affiliation. Morris and the British Arts & Crafts movement became a model for numerous workshops, secessions and small schools in both Europe and America, in the depths of which a new direction was forged – design.

How the foundations of design were approved, how the first schools were born, what is the structure and methods of education, what was the propaedeutics and the basis of the foundations in design education, about the genetic roots of the first design schools and agents of influence, about great teachers and talented students, about the dramatic fate of innovative educational structures – Werkbund, Bauhaus and VKHUTEMAS – we will talk at lectures.

The course consists of 4 lectures:

Lecture 1.William Morris and Arts & Crafts

Lecture 2. Werkbund: the union of art and industry

Lecture 3. Bauhaus: the foundation of modern design

Lecture 4. VKHUTEMAS and VKHUTEIN: fireworks of the Russian avant-garde

The course is designed for both a specialized audience, so it will be of interest to everyone studying the history of art and design. To activate the skill of visual observation and deep immersion in the material, the course is supported by a multimedia presentation format (200 – 300 slides), which allows not only to get acquainted with the work of architects and sculptors, decorators and designers, but also to form an understanding of the peculiarities of the formation and development of design in different cultural environments.

Brief description of lectures

Lecture 1. William Morris and Arts & Crafts

English Art Nouveau differs from the European one. Victorian society determined the rhythm and characteristics of artistic change. However, the movement associated with the activities of the Pre-Raphaelites and the aesthetic movement was maximized in the hands of the talented William Morris, who made the Society of Arts and Crafts a model for the world art community.

At the lecture we will talk not only about the works of the English poet, artist, publisher, architect and leader of Arts & Crafts – William Morris, we will learn why Red House has become a slap in the face of public taste; Let’s see what projects Morris created with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Fox Madox Brown, Philip Webb, Charles Faulkner and Peter Paul Marshall; understand the secret of the success of Morris’s ornamentation and his publishing house Kelmscott Press; and who continued the work of designer # 1.

Lecture 2. Werkbund: the union of art and industry

Werkbund, founded in Munich in the fall of 1907, solved several problems, the most important of which was the unification of craft, art and industry. The new association included not only architects and artists, but also heads of manufacturing companies. Such an alliance was conditioned, on the one hand, by the unprecedented opportunities that industrialization and mass production provided, on the other hand, by concern about the extremely low quality of manufactured goods, the loss of their aesthetic component.Rational design, laconic art form and pronounced functionality were supposed, according to the idea of ​​the Werkbund members, to lead to the establishment of a single aesthetic taste and bring it out of the total crisis.

The popularity of Verbund’s ideas was so great that in 5 years the membership of the union quadrupled, the Austrian and Swedish, Swiss and Hungarian counterparts of the organization appeared, and in Britain the Design and Industries Association was founded on the model. The most important centers of production in Werkbund were the famous United German Applied Arts and Crafts Workshops headquartered in Hellerau, which had workshops and showrooms in 22 cities across the country.The ideas of Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Bruno Taut, Hermann Muthesius, Karl Schmidt, Friedrich Naumann, Richard Riemschmid, Fritz Schumacher and many others, even after the official closure of Werbund, influenced the development of German art and industry.

Lecture 3. Bauhaus: the foundation of modern design

The Bauhaus, organized in 1919 by Walter Gropius, existed for only 14 years, but the ideas embodied in this school have found their embodiment in various fields of art and culture.And this is natural. The Bauhaus School was at the forefront both in the composition of teachers, among whom were Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Johannes Itten, Gerber Bayer and Marcel Breuer, and in teaching methods, where practice and experiment were valued as highly as fundamental knowledge.

Today, works created almost a century ago at the Bauhaus continue to inspire contemporary architects and artists. What is the secret of such success, what influence the Bauhaus had on the development of the international style, who laid the foundations of modern coloristics, when the New Bauhaus opened in Chicago, what contribution did the Bauhaus students make to the development of Soviet cities – we will talk about this and many other things at the lecture …

Lecture 4. VKHUTEMAS and VKHUTEIN: avant-garde fireworks

The reorganization of the art education system in Russia led to the creation of a new type of educational institution – VKHUTEMAS. The association, formed in 1918, in 1927 was renamed VKHUTEIN – the Higher Artistic and Technical Institute, but the teaching methodology and subjects of educational projects were retained.

In the works and theoretical views of the outstanding teachers of VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN – Alexander Rodchenko and Konstantin Melnikov, Moisey Ginzburg and Ilya Golosov, Alexander Vesnin and Ivan Leonidov, Wassily Kandinsky and Pavel Florensky, Vera Mukhina and El Lissitsky and Vladimir Tatchenko, Alexander Rodchenko innovative ideas in the field of architecture and design.

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