The “White City-Bauhaus Architecture in Tel Aviv” exhibition at the State Hermitage Museum is part of “Tel Aviv days in St. Petersburg” events, a symbol of the significant cultural roots between Russia and Israel. These deep roots between the two nations were strengthened with the arrival of more than one million Russian Jews to Israel in the past thirty years, a fact that altered the social, cultural and political face of the country. This exhibition aims to visualize the varied aspects of Tel Aviv’s International architectural style. It also aims to raise public awareness to the uniqueness of the “White City” and to increase the Russian public’s appreciation of Tel Aviv’s special architectural treasure.
Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 and developed rapidly under the British Mandate in Palestine. The area of the White City forms its central part, and is based on the urban master plan by Sir Patrick Geddes, one of the foremost theorists in the early modern period. Sir Geddes developed such innovative notions as “conurbation” and “environment,” and was pioneer in his insight into the nature of city as an organism constantly changing in time and space, as a homogeneous urban and rural evolving landscape. Reflected in his master plan of Tel Aviv, he adopted scientific principles in town planning, based on a new vision of a “site” and “region,” and internationally influenced urban planning in the 20th century.
Tel Aviv’s buildings were designed by a large number of architects, who had been trained and had practiced in various European countries. In their work, they represented the plurality of the creative trends of modernism, but they also took into account the local, cultural quality of the site. None of the European or North-African realizations exhibits such a synthesis of the modernistic picture nor are they at the same scale. The buildings of Tel Aviv are further enriched by local traditions; the design was adapted to the specific climatic conditions of the site, giving a particular character to the buildings and to the ensemble as a whole. This exhibition aims to visualize the varied aspects of Tel Aviv’s International architectural style. It also aims to raise public awareness to the uniqueness of the “White City” .
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