Building + Landscape – the interplay

As a response to the Mediterranean climate and the social needs of Jewish families, the building footprint guideline by Patrick Geddes creates an interesting relationship between building and landscape in Tel Aviv. This has tremendously affected the livelihood of residents of Tel Aviv.


Geddes’ masterplan divided the city into lots and residences are constructed at certain distance away from the plot boundaries. Described as detached building by Geddes, the ensuring quality of this is the vast amount of open areas and greenery which is to be utilized for plantation or leisure landscaping. This alternating building-green-building-green sequence along the street not only mitigates the heating problem in the urban areas, but also improves living conditions by giving more fresh air and cooling to the living quarters. The quality of life is improved by less congested environment and more leisure spaces. Different social activities take place at these in-between spaces and thus giving back the space to the residents, who could enjoy them harmoniously at their residence.


Setback requirement for single house in a lot. Schlör, 1999.
Masterplan of Tel Aviv. Patrick Geddes. Schlör, 1999.

The various green spots on Geddes’ masterplan also manifests such building-green interplay, though in a different scale. Such quality acts similarly as the setback principle, and acts as different urban oasis to house different social functions, whether on societal level or neighbourhood level. The buildings would look entirely different and residents’ experience of living in Tel Aviv would be totally not the same if this interplay never existed. The intermingle of the green with buildings surely is defining in the identity of Tel Aviv, sharing the same significance as the Bauhaus architecture.


Schlör, Joachim. Tel Aviv : from dream to city. London: Reaktion, 1999.

Researchgate. “Patrick Geddes and the evolution of a housing type in Tel-Aviv”. Accessed 10 November, 2018.

Leave a Reply

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