Published On: Tue, May 19th, 2015

Germany Donates $2.8 Million For Tel Aviv’s White City Restorations

Old Tel Aviv buildings were designed in the German Bauhaus style.

Bauhaus Tel Aviv 1

The German government will donate $2.8 million over a ten year period towards the renovation of the pre-independence sections of Tel Aviv known as “The White City.”

This area, which was developed between the two World Wars during British rule, is filled with buildings constructed in the German Bauhaus style which was popular at the time. The connection to German architecture is why that country is interested in helping with the renovations.

The term Bauhaus comes from the German art school called Staatliches Bauhaus, which operated from the end of World War I until the rise of Hitler.

Bauhaus Tel aviv 2

The White City was declared a world cultural heritage sight by UNESCO in 2003. Unfortunately, most of its buildings fell into disrepair in their more than 80 years in existence. This was largely due to a lack of funds and or/desire to do the necessary work to renovate their facades.

If you walk around the older neighborhoods of Tel Aviv today, you will be sure to see these buildings which stand out with their curved balconies. But they also stand out for their decrepit, cracked, and blackened exteriors. One reason for this is the sea air. Since Tel Aviv is on the coast, the salty air eroded the coated facades much faster than otherwise would have happened.

This is in contrast to newer buildings with brick and stone facades.

But fortunately, in recent years many of the older single standing buildings have been renovated and repainted by their owners. If you go to central Tel Aviv streets like Rothschild Blvd and Allenby then you will see some of these restored structures standing between modern high rises.

renovated bauhaus tel aviv wikimedia

Unfortunately, these buildings are the exception and not the rule. This is why the new grant is so important.

German Construction Minister Barbara Hendricks told Mayor Ron Huldai that her government had made the commitment to aid the White City restorations. She said, “We will help the city of Tel Aviv preserve this significant cultural legacy. We plan as a first step to create a preservation center for the White City. In this way we will create a platform for the future restoration of the buildings. I look forward to a fruitful partnership between German and Israeli authorities in all areas of construction.”

Tel Aviv has put up 250, 000 Shekels ($65, 000) for the project.

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