Huberman KrakauerRechter

  • Issue: December 1990
  • Designer: A. Vanooijen
  • Stamp size: 25.7 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 100 - 101
  • Sheet of 20 stamps Tabs: 4
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

The return of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel, a country unpopulated for the most part, necessitated the planning and establishment of a new infrastructure of settlements, both urban and rural. This infrastructure would include residential housing, public buildings as well as agricultural and industrial structures.

The architects tried to combine features of European architecture and technological innovations with the exigencies ot the climatic, topographical and social conditions prevailing.

Starting from scratch gives the planner the freedom to use his imagination, so despite economic and social constraints and the ideological demands of the early pioneers for simplicity and modesty, he was able to effect functional and aesthetic solutions, in no way interior in their architectural standards to those around the world.

Leopold Krakauer (1890-1954)

Leopold Krakauer was born in Vienna, where he acquired his schooling as an architect and artist. At that time Vienna was one of the centres of modern architecture, as it was developing. He came to Palestine in 1925 and designed many buildings for the Kibbutz Movement, of which the most outstanding are the impressive concrete dining halls at Belt Alpha (1930), Tel Yosef (1933) and Degania (1933).

Krakauer was a devotee of the "International Style, and also built Bonem House in Jerusalem (1935) and the Teltsch Hotel in Haifa (1940).

Apart from his work as an architect, Krakauer was also a talented artist who depicted views of Jerusalem again and again in his drawings.

On the stamp before us we can see the dining hall of Kibbutz Tel Yosef in the Jezreel Valley. The different lie of the land, on a slope of a hill, forced Krakauer to design an innovate concrete frame. The building is composed of a square dining hall (16 meters by 16 meters) on top of which is a mezzanine floor designed for ventilation and lighting. Seen from above the mezzanine floor appears to be rotated 45 degrees to the flat roof of the dining hail. The kitchen is located in a separate wing of the building to the north of the main entrance and there is a porticoed balcony to the south, which is a direct continuation of the main row of palms trees of the Kibbutz. The use of a concrete frame made it possible to build a line of windows right around the dining hall through which can be seen the Gilboa Mountains and the valley at their feet.

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Ze'ev Rechter (1899-1960)

Ze'ev Rechter emigrated to Palestine from Russia in the year 1919. The first houses he built were in a "Land-of -Israel" style, which was principally a merger of European and Oriental architectural features. Between the years 1929-1932, Rechter was influenced by the "International Style" and particularly by Le Corbusier becoming one of his foremost proponents in the country. Rechter built homes, offices and public buildings, of which the most outstanding are the Binyanel HaUma concert hall in Jerusalem (1950-1960), and the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv (1951-1957), which he designed together with Dov Karmi. The buildings which Rechter designed are outstanding in their clarity of form, balance of proportions and in their blending into their environment without sacrificing individuality.

On the stamp before us we can see a house in Tel Aviv called "Engel House" (1933). This was the first house to be built on pillars, whose purpose was "to create distance between the resident and the street". This house became a model for many others that were built later. The pillars create a space open to the wind, and a place for a garden in a city lacking public parks. The house is three storeys high, has a flat roof and is composed of square elements, such as the lines of the windows and the balconies projecting out from the building line. These structural features, together with the white plaster so common in Tel Aviv, transformed it into a "white city", and one of the most modern metropolises of the twentieth century.

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Architecture in Israel (II)