Tel Aviv (3)

The long flight back to London allowed me to read Sharon Rotblat’s Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa (London:  Pluto Press, 2015).   It’s an interesting polemic against the idea that Tel Aviv is the product of the Bauhaus.   He argues that there was only one Tel Aviv architect who had trained at the Bauhaus, Aryeh Sharon, who was responsible only for some communal housing projects which were genuinely inspired by the communitarian spirit of the Bauhaus and repudiated the idea that Bauhaus was a style:  ‘Bauhaus is neither a concept, nor a uniform institution’.   He argues that the expansion of Tel Aviv was a product not of German idealism in the 1930s, but British pragmatism in the 1920s.   ‘Popular and architectural histories of Tel Aviv associate construction during the 1930s with particular Central European aesthetic and architectural qualities, but in reality the city’s expansion was much more of an exercise in British urban planning…Over the course of the Mandate, the British revolutionized the country;  they built power stations, airports, ports, railway lines and train stations, roads, pipelines, hospitals, schools, government buildings and army barracks’ (pp.91-2).   But they scuttled off in 1948.

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2 thoughts on “Tel Aviv (3)

    • Yes, that’s the weakness of the book. It’s a hatchet job. The presumption is that it is speculative architecture by Central European architects who had trained in either France or Belgium and used a generalised modernist style influenced as much by Corbusier as the Bauhaus. Charles

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