Tel Aviv/ White City as a World Cultural Heritage Site

Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 and the White City included part of the territories of Tel Aviv in which a collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus Style architectures were built since the 1930s. It was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003, as “an outstanding example of new town planning and architecture in the early 20th century.

The White City was constructed from the early 1930s until the 1950s, based on the urban plan by Sir Patrick Geddes, illustrating modern organic planning principles. The buildings were designed by the Jewish architects who were trained in Germany or other parts in Europe where they practised their profession before immigrating. The event led to the influx of these immigrants was the closure of Bauhaus School in Berlin and suppression of the International Style. These architects chose to settle down in Tel Aviv and created an architectural ensemble of the Modern Movement in a new cultural context.

Aerial view of the White City ©www.e-b.co.il
Map in 1930 with the boundaries of White City and the boulevard planned by Geddes
Map in 1930 with the boundaries of White City and the boulevard planned by Geddes ©Joachim,1999

Two criteria of White City nominated as a UNESCO site:

Criterion (ii): The White City of Tel Aviv is a synthesis of outstanding significance of the various trends of the Modern Movement in architecture and town planning in the early part of the 20th century. Such influences were adapted to the cultural and climatic conditions of the place, as well as being integrated with local traditions.

Criterion (iv): The White City of Tel Aviv is an outstanding example of new town planning and architecture in the early 20th century, adapted to the requirements of a particular cultural and geographic context.

Reference:

  1. Boness, Stefan, and Carsten Hueck. Tel Aviv: The White City. Berlin: Jovis, 2012.
  2. “White City of Tel-Aviv — the Modern Movement.” – UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Accessed December 21, 2015. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1096.
  3. R, Joachim. Tel Aviv: From Dream to City. London: Reaktion Books, 1999.

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