Waves Sharon 490 Rubin Neufeld Sharon

  • Issue: April 1994
  • Designer: I. Gabay
  • Stamp size: 40 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 208
  • Sheet of 9 stamps Tabs: 3
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

The houses which were built in the "International Style" in Tel Aviv give it, to this day, its characteristic appearance. The name "International Style" was given to modern architecture in Europe of the 20's and 30's and which mainly found its expression in the work of the architects, Le Corbusier, Gropius, and Mendelsohn. The style is characterized by simple cube-like shapes, horizontal and vertical, rows of windows, concrete beams, various combinations of reinforced concrete, steel and glass, and a functional approach to architecture. Jewish architects mainly from Central Europe, who immigrated to Eretz Israel in the 30's brought with them these concepts of modern architecture which they put into practice primarily in Tel Aviv, though the style was also adopted in Haifa and Jerusalem, as well as on communal agricultural settlements (the Kibbutz and the Moshav).

It was not simply a question of copying stylistic elements but of adapting them to local climatic conditions and to the requirements of the new country, so for instance, the big glass windows common in Europe with sparse sunshine were exchanged for deep balconies which created shade for inner rooms; the size of windows was reduced and the houses were erected on concrete pillars providing ventilation and cool shade, as well as greater garden space.

The effort which was put into general urban planning, into roads, streets and squares, turned Tel Aviv from the garden city it was originally planned to be, into a "white city" metropolis which to this day is still the centre of modern architecture in Israel.

Citrus House (1936-1938) Karl Rubin (1899-1955)

Karl Rubin, the designer of the first office block built on a steel frame in Tel Aviv, was born in Galicia and studied n Vienna. In 1926, he came to Eretz Israel and worked here until 1931. That year he travelled to Europe and worked in the Berlin offices of the famous Jewish architect, Erich Mendelsohn. Mendelsohn's influence on him is seen in his work in Tel Aviv. In 1932 he returned to Palestine and opened his own office in Tel Aviv, where he designed residential blocks and many public buildings. The most impressive and modern building that Rubin designed is the Citrus House. This house is characterised by circular cubic shapes at different levels which finish off in semi-circles 17 metres wide, emphasizing the cross-roads at the foot of the building. It was designed in 1934 and was erected between 1936 and 1938. The rounded facade of the building is five storeys high and the wings of the bull ding four storeys. Rows of windows and the horizontal concrete beam over the showcases together with the smooth, light original plaster, give its blocks the characteristic appearance of the International Style.

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"Assuta" Hospital (1934-1935) Yosef Neufeld (1899-1980)

Yosef Neufeld, the designer of the Assuta Private Hospital, was born in Galicia and studied in Vienna and Rome. In 1920 he came to Eretz Israel, and later went to Europe to work as an assistant to the famous Jewish architect, Erich Mendelsohn in Berlin and to Boruno Taut in Moscow. In 1932 he returned to Eretz Israel and opened an architect's office in Tel Aviv with a number of partners. His work includes the design and construction of private houses, hospitals, schools, workers apartments and kibbutz buildings. In the 40's he went to the USA, worked there as an architect and taught at Yale University.

Neufeld studied modern architecture in Europe and the Assuta Hospital depicts his desire to build a functional building of balanced proportions. The overall characteristics are elongated buildings with flat roofs, rows of horizontal windows, smooth plastered walls and ledges of steel piping. The style of this buildin9 is primarily due to the jutting balconies and the steel-pipe ledges, similar to the architecture of the Bauhaus in Dessau, which was built in 1926 by Walter Gropius.

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" Cooperative Workers" Housing (1934-1936) Arieh Sharon (1900-1984)

Arieh Sharon, the designer of the cooperative workers' housing, was born in Poland, came to Eretz Israel in 1920 and was among the founders of Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. Between 1926 and 1929 he studied architecture at the famous Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany and worked in the office of the architect Hannes Meyer. After his return to Eretz Israel in 1931, he opened an office in Tel Aviv and contributed much to the form that modern architecture in Eretz Israel was to take. He designed and built residential houses, workers apartments, schools and kibbutz buildings, amongst other things. His widely-read book "Kibbutz and Bauhaus", which was published abroad, contributed to the connection between Israel and Tel Aviv architecture and the influence of the Bauhaus style on it.

The cooperative workers' housing was built in the centre of Tel Aviv for the Histadrut housing company on a plot which had been especially re-planned for the purpose. Three blocks were built, each of three storeys, with a total of 127 apartments around a central courtyard. The facades of these long buildings were broken up by staircases and balconies whose shape was similar to the architecture of the Bauhaus in Dessau. The original facades and the balconies were drastically changed after renovations were made and their characteristic appearance has been lost. Other blocks of workers' housing were built by Yosef Neufeld and Karl Rubin, and here too the building shows the influence in their design and style, of typical mass housing architecture in the Europe of the 20's.

This set of three stamps depicts three buildings in Tel Aviv built in the International Style of architecture. The issue marks a series of organised events celebrating "International Style Architecture - Tel Aviv 1994 including an international architectural conference.

The celebration is being organised by the Tel Aviv- Yafo Municipality, the Tel Aviv Foundation and UNESCO.

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The international style architecture in Tel Aviv