Where to find the best Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is well known for its large and unique collection of Bauhaus style houses.

What are they and how do you find them?

A few years ago, during a visit to Germany, I asked a local friend there about the The Bauhaus Archive Museum in Berlin.

His response was: “You live in a Bauhaus museum!”

Official numbers don’t lie – Tel Aviv has the greatest number of Bauhaus buildings  in the world.

In 2003 UNESCO recognised the centre of Tel Aviv as a World Heritage Site, nicknamed the “White City”, for its massive collection of Bauhaus and Eclectic Style buildings.

So what’s it all about?

This guide will show you how to find the beat Bauhaus in Tel Aviv 🙂

Some background on the international style in tel aviv

Bauhaus is the name of a school of art and design founded in 1919 in Germany.

The architectural style that came out of that school and that is so typical of Tel Aviv is officially called the International Style, but it’s commonly referred to simply as Bauhaus.

Many Bauhaus architects immigrated from Germany to Tel Aviv in the early 1930s, when life became harder for Jews over there.

Tel Aviv in those years was a very young town, a tiny place in constant development . In other words, it was the perfect playground for those architects to experiment with the new style.

They shaped the city according to their modernist vision and built and designed in a very practical way to match the local climate and to make the houses comfortable to live in.

Tel aviv bauhaus reading list

The International and the Eclectic Style in Tel Aviv have been studied and photographed quite extensively.

These are some of the essential books you want to read if you want to dig deeper:

How to spot a tel aviv bauhaus building

Bauhaus style houses have very clean lines, clear shapes and  hardly any decorations.

The focus was on practicality in the spirit of “less is more”.

This house is a good example of the clear cut lines. It’s on Rothschild Bldv. 85 in Tel Aviv, and was designed by Carl Rubin as a residential house.

Bauhaus style clean line and clear shapes
Bauhaus style clean line and clear shapes

The typical Tel Avivian Bauhaus buildings are mostly white, due to the hot weather.

Tel Aviv Bauhaus
Ehrlich House – A typical Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv

Bauhaus buildings were mostly box-shaped with a flat roof, because a flat roof can have many uses in a warm climate: Sleeping on the roof, planting gardens, hanging your laundry or socialising.

That was the practical approach of Bauhaus architects.

Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv
Bauhaus buildings have flat roofs

Bauhaus buildings are famous for their balconies. These are big and wide and pop into the street a bit like open drawers.

They often have rounded corners , another typical element of this style, as are combinations of geometric shapes.

The balconies are also a sign of practicality – back when those buildings were built, when there was no air conditioning, you could spend hot day on the balcony enjoying some sea breeze.

Ehrlich House, 79 Herzl Street, was designed by Ze’ev Haller in 1933 and preserved in recent years, is a lovely example of rounded corners.

Bauhaus Tel Aviv building
The rounded corner, Bauhaus style (get a print)

You can see some more combinations of shapes in Rubinsky House on 65 Shenkin Street,  a residential house by Abraham Markusfeld from 1935, also preserved.

It stands at a street corner and  there are different elements on each side of the building.

Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv
Rubinsky House, typical Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv

Bruno House on 3 Strauss Street is another preserved house, originally by Ze’ev Haller from 1933.

This is one of my favourite residential buildings thanks to its lovely balconies with rounded corners and curving lines that go all around the building.

Bruno House in Tel Aviv - Bauhaus style architecture
Bruno House with its rounded corners
Bruno House in Tel Aviv - Bauhaus style architecture
Bruno House – Rounded balconies

It’s worth going up the steps and around the building to see it from different angles.

Bruno House in Tel Aviv - Bauhaus style architecture
Go around Bruno House to see the entire design

Another element you’ll see quite often in Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv and elsewhere in the world is a line of small windows all along the stairwell of the building.

They’re  called “Thermometers” in Bauhaus slang, bringing in air and light to all the floors of the building.

Thermometer windows Bauhaus building
Thermometer windows in a Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv. Source:  Sambach  CC BY-SA 2.5 

The tel aviv bauhaus preservation project

Now that you know how to spot a Bauhaus building, all you have to do is look up! Tel Aviv is practically an open-air museum of architecture.

But you may not see this “white city” right away…

The climate in Tel Aviv is hot and humid, which means that many walls and facades are in very poor condition after years of neglect.

To be honest, growing up in Tel Aviv I never found its architecture impressive in any way.

The city grew rapidly in the 1950s, which resulted in many buildings looking exactly the same, and not particularly interesting.

But the real architectural gems of the 1920s and 30s are still there.

For many years they were neglected and lost their charm, but in recent years,  a much-needed renovation and preservation project has been taking place.

Some of the old buildings were given back their long lost beauty. There are many more to be restored.

This project is taking time and many millions of dollars, but you can already see some of its beautiful outcomes.

Walking around the city centre of Tel Aviv, you will see many tall office towers and skyscrapers with glass windows reflecting the sky. When you see one of those, look around it to find an old preserved house nearby.

It’s often the deal struck between developers and the city: in order to build the towers, they have to do some preservation work.

Old preserved house in Tel Aviv next to a new skyscraper
Old and new in Tel Aviv

Another similar arrangement is where the old houses are not just preserved, but also extended.

Additional flats are built, sometimes a penthouse.

Given the ridiculously high prices of real estate in Tel Aviv, the developers can cover the cost of the preservation thanks to those extensions.

Beautiful Bauhaus Hotels in Tel Aviv

If you visit Tel Aviv and want to stay in a historical Bauhaus hotel, there are several attractive options.

Cinema hotel

Cinema Hotel  is a stylish boutique hotel in a beautiful, white Bauhaus building that used to house a cinema in the past.

Cinema Hotel - Bauhaus Hotel in Tel Aviv

It’s one of the most famous original Bauhaus buildings in the city. The location is very central, with a rooftop terrace overlooking the city. Click here to find out the current rates. 

Gordon hotel

If you want to stay closer to the beach, Gordon Hotel  is another boutique hotel in a unique Bauhaus buildings.

Gordon boutique hotel Tel Aviv

It offers modern, stylish room decor and don’t forget to ask for a room with a view to the sea! Search availability and see more pictures of the hotel here.

Hotel montefiore

Hotel Montefiore in central Tel Aviv is also housed in a gorgeous Bauhaus building.

Hotel Montefiore in a Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv

It is one of the most highly rated hotels in the city.

For Bauhaus architecture lovers, it’s at a great location to explore more beautiful buildings, as it’s very close to Rothschild Boulevard. Click here to find a room at Hotel Montefiore

How to find out more about tel aviv bauhaus

There are literally thousands of Bauhaus houses in Tel Aviv and a lot to be discovered.

Use this guide to learn how to spot them 🙂 But if you want to delve deeper and learn more about the historical and cultural context, the stories behind the buildings various styles, it’s best to take an informative guided walking tour with a local expert.

Visiting tel aviv

I have plenty of resources on this blog about planing a trip to Tel Aviv.

If it’s you first time in the city, start with my guide for first timers in Tel Aviv .

Tel Aviv is an expensive city, but don’t let that prevent you from visiting! I created a detailed guide on how to save money on your trip to Tel Aviv, as well as a list of local discounts.

For a comprehensive itinerary and discount vouchers to local attractions, check out The Ultimate Tel Aviv Guide, created by local travel bloggers.

share this tel aviv bauhaus guide on pinterest

Travel Photography Bauhaus Architecture in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv Bauhaus Architecture
Travel Photography Bauhaus Architecture in Tel Aviv


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.