2019 marks 100 years to the Bauhaus school.
Bauhaus is known in Israel primarily as an architectural style, but it is an institution that has brought about a significant change in design and architecture in the 20th century. During its 14 years of existence in 1919-1933, Bauhaus formulated universal principles for design, combining art and industry.
The Bauhaus school was founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany, in a time of radical changes, with a shattered economy and post-war inflation. The architect Walter Gropius, instilled with a sense of mission, had already conceived in 1916 a new model of an art school: a new experiment in education, with questions rather than answers, a program that would link art studies with pedagogical and practical training in the various fields of art and crafts. A place that will clear the apparent contradiction between art, technology and industry and combine theory with practice. A laboratory that will enable teachers and students to think, work and experiment together to develop creation and production, while integrating interdisciplinary design, painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, theater and dance. A research institute that will work for the benefit of society while examining the physical and mental consequences of shape, color and space. The ultimate goal was to develop ideological-aesthetic structures for an advanced society, to erect a building that was perceived as “a total work of art”. The ideas and images of the Bauhaus were disseminated in the world with piercing intensiveness through lectures, exhibitions, and publishing of manifests, periodicals and books. Each of the books published in the Bauhaus series summed up an in-depth discussion of one of the fields of creativity taught at the school.
Bauhaus In Israel –
Bauhaus is known mainly in Israel as an architectural style and in the “White City” with the characteristic buildings in the heart of Tel Aviv, an area that has also been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Six Israeli architects studied in the Bauhaus school: Shlomo Bernstein, Munio Gitai (Weinraub), Edgar Hed (Hecht), Shmuel Mestechkin, Chanan Frenkel and Arieh Sharon. A seventh architect, Philip Hütt, probably also attended courses at the Bauhaus school in Weimar. However, the influence of the Bauhaus on the architecture built in Israel in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s was by far wider than just by those architects alone.
In Tel Aviv only, more than 4,000 “Bauhaus Style” buildings were built. Thousands more were built in Haifa, Jerusalem, the Kibbutzim and elsewhere in Israel. The main question is, therefore—how, in an era when this new style was still unpopular, did it reach such magnitude in the built work in Israel? The main answer is that the social-cultural ideology behind the “Bauhaus Style” fit like a glove to the socialist-Zionist movement and to the striving of this movement to create a new world. White houses, in every sense—form, style, material, functionality, color—grew from the sands without a past, towards a future.
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