Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv

About this place

Plan Your Visit

  • Open Times: Sunday - Thursday 09:30-20:00, Friday 09:30-15:00, Saturday closed. Pro Tip: Call ahead to verify special open times during holidays.
  • Prices: Free.
  • Average Visit Duration: 1 Hour.
  • Popular Times: Weekends are the most popular time to visit the Tel Aviv Bauhaus Center.
  • Relevant Tours: Do a self-guided tour with headphones provided by the center, or join one of the White City tours. Pro Tip: When you combine a private Tel Aviv tour with a visit to the Bauhaus Center your guide can point out the many Bauhaus structures in the area.

Located at 77 Dizengoff Street, in the heart of Tel Aviv’s White City, is the Bauhaus Center, which is both a gallery and a store focused entirely on Bauhaus architecture. There are over 4,000 buildings in Tel Aviv designed in the Bauhaus style, which is a form of modernist architecture. In 2003 UNESCO named Tel Aviv a World Cultural Heritage Site thanks to its high concentration of Bauhaus architecture. 

Bauhaus center tel avivThe Tel Aviv Bauhaus Center (Image source: Mujaddara CC BY-SA 3.0)

You might hear Bauhaus architecture referred to as International Style, Modernism, or New Building. At the center, you can see a permanent exhibition displaying photographs, documents, and models relating to Bauhaus in Tel Aviv. You can also enjoy temporary exhibitions covering architecture, art, and design. 

The center works in collaboration with the Israeli UNESCO committee and the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality as well as museums, and other institutions, to bring visitors the most accurate and interesting exhibits about Bauhaus.

History of Bauhaus

Bauhaus was the name of a school devoted to art, design, and architecture that operated in Weimar, Germany from 1919 to 1933.  The school’s establishment followed the end of World War II, and the artists and architects at the school were determined to create a better future. They wanted to revolutionize accepted social norms, and so they valued talent and ability above class and rank. The school’s founder, Walter Gropius was a charismatic character and he persuaded leading artists from various fields to teach at his school, including Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Gunta Stolzl, Hannes Meyer, and others. 

bauhaus center tel avivA Bauhaus building in Dizengoff Street (Image source: Artem.G CC BY-SA 4.0)

The school had an introductory class where students studied different materials, and had hands-on experience creating a variety of items. There were courses in bookbinding, dance, photography, theater, graphics, painting, carpentry, sculpture, metalwork and more. The aim was that students would be multi-disciplined, think out of the box, and create holistically. 

Pro Tip: Hungry for more Bauhaus? Visit the Bauhaus Museum at 21 Bialik Street which exhibits mainly Bauhaus-style furniture, decor, and art.

It was only in 1926 when the Bauhaus school moved to Dessau and began focusing more on industrial creation, that architecture became a part of the syllabus. It was in the last few years before World War II, that the school became increasingly political, and the school director, Hanne Meyer promoted the idea of utility over luxury. Meyer and a group from the school left for the Soviet Union in 1930, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe took over as director. He took a new approach to education and focused almost exclusively on architecture.  

The school finally closed in 1933 for political and economic reasons. Some former pupils stayed in Germany while others traveled to America, and six Jewish architects from the Bauhaus school traveled to Israel. 

What Defines Bauhaus Style?

  • Functionalism: Emphasis on the practical and functional aspects of design, where the form of a building is dictated by its intended purpose and efficiency.
  • Minimalism: Striving for simplicity and minimal ornamentation, avoiding unnecessary decoration in favor of clean lines and geometric shapes.
  • Industrial Materials: Use of industrial materials such as steel, glass, and concrete to reflect the modern age and the machine aesthetic.
  • Ribbon Windows: Horizontal bands of windows, known as ribbon windows, maximize natural light, provide expansive views, and contribute to the overall modern aesthetic.
  • Integration of Arts and Crafts: Seeking to bridge the gap between fine arts and applied arts, incorporating artistic elements such as typography, color schemes, and decorative arts into architectural design.

Bauhaus in Israel

The Bauhaus Center is located a few steps from Dizengoff Square, which was planned in 1934 and is considered the “Bauhaus Plaza” at the heart of the White City. The Bauhaus Center was established in 2000 to educate the public about the magnificent architecture of the White City. 

bauhaus center tel avivA Bauhaus building in Rothschild Boulevard (Image source: Artem.G CC BY-SA 4.0)

The newly arrived Bauhaus architects were joined by thousands of immigrants escaping the rising antisemitism in Europe. Tel Aviv had only been founded a few years earlier, and the architects set about designing houses for the growing city. Bauhaus architecture had to be slightly altered to suit the Middle East’s climate, lifestyle, and available materials. For this reason, there are some differences between Bauhaus in Europe and in Tel Aviv. 

Pro Tip: The best places in Tel Aviv to see Bauhaus architecture are Rothschild Boulevard, Dizengoff Street, Bialik Street, and Sheinkin Street. Pro Tip: Want to sleep in a Bauhaus building? Tel Aviv has several hotels and guesthouses that are in Bauhaus structures including Lily & Bloom Boutique Hotel, Cinema Hotel, Norman Luxury Boutique Hotel, Diaghilev Art Suites Hotel, and Poli House Hotel.

What Defines Tel Aviv Bauhaus Architecture?

When Bauhaus's ideas were introduced to Tel Aviv in the 1930s, there were some adaptations and modifications that took place, influenced by the local context and needs.

  • Climate: The Mediterranean climate is quite different from the European climate, so features such as sunshades, balconies, and flat roofs were incorporated into the Middle Eastern design. Some designs include raising the buildings on stilts to allow a breeze to flow beneath the structure and keep the building cool.
  • White Facades: The Tel Aviv Bauhaus buildings were usually painted white to add to the streamlined, simple appearance, but also because white reflects the sun and keeps the buildings cool. Pro Tip: Hence Tel Aviv’s nickname - The White City.
  • Materials: Certain materials were scarce in Israel, so local materials needed to be used such as Jerusalem stone.
  • Culture: In Jewish, and specifically Israeli culture there tend to be large, extended families, and so the architects introduced communal areas, open spaces, and courtyards. The political, economic, and cultural atmosphere at the time called for minimalistic, functional, and frugal living.
  • Open Spaces: Courtyards, balconies, and gardens were incorporated into Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus buildings to promote the social communal feel at the time and take advantage of the sunny weather.
  • Tel Aviv Aesthetic: Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus buildings are generally low, which suited both the climate and the city’s aesthetic at the time. Building the Bauhaus structures contributed to the cohesive, well-organized city plan.

Pro Tip: Embedded in the sidewalk outside some of Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus buildings are brass plaques indicating that the structures are part of the UNESCO White City.

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