Photography · Tourism · Travel guide

Tel-a-visitor pt.3 – impressions of Tel Aviv by Alain Deloin

deloin39 Fleamarket Jaffadeloin38Brown Hotel rooftop by night deloin36Vegan food @ Buddha Burgers – Ice Cream @ Anita Neve Tzedek deloin35deloin19Neve Tzedek deloin34Hotel Montefiore deloin32deloin33Old Jaffa
deloin31Fleamarket deloin29deloin6deloin5Dizengoff Square
deloin23deloin22Juice spot on Ahad Ha’am  deloin20Benedict 24/7 Breakfast 
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Tel Aviv boardwalk

deloin15 deloin14Under construction Tel Aviv old vs. new architecture
deloin28deloin24deloin25deloin26deloin27deloin4Rothschild Boulevard

 

 

deloin13 deloin12 deloin11 deloin10 deloin9 deloin8 deloin7Jerusalem


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Alain Deloin

Architecture · Bauhaus · History · Tel Aviv · Tourism

Bauhaus Tel Aviv – The White City

As seen in Lust for Life on Belgian TV – January 16th: “4000 Bauhaus gevels

What Is Bauhaus – source: the Bauhaus Center in Tel Aviv

Bauhaus school in Dessau
The Bauhaus school building

The Bauhaus was a school which operated in Germany between 1919 and 1933 and was devoted to art, architecture and design. It had remarkable influences on all these disciplines. Although throughout it’s years it carried varied approaches, some ideas were maintained. One main principle is the reunion of the arts and the crafts in order to achieve total works of art. According to this principle, all arts, as well as new technologies, should be combined in the art of building.

A significant approach in the school was the search for the basic ingredients of art and design. Thus evolved the “Bauhaus Style” in architecture and design—in which primary forms and colors are given great importance.

The Bauhaus had a great impact on the Modern Movement in architecture, embracing functionalism and rationality and condemning ornament. The architectural style of the modern movement is called “The International Style” or “Bauhaus Style”. This style is characterized by asymmetry, compositions of primary volumes—cubic and rounded, ribbon windows, pilots, thermometer windows, balconies, roof terraces and plays of shadow and light.

Bauhaus In Israel – source: the Bauhaus Center in Tel Aviv

Reading station
Modern white building rises from the sand in Tel Aviv

Four Israeli architects studied in the Bauhaus school: Arieh Sharon, Shmuel Mestechkin, Munio Gitai-Weinraub and Shlomo Bernstein. However, the influence of the Bauhaus on the architecture built in Israel in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s was by far wider than being expressed by those architects only. The legacy of the Bauhaus was absorbed by other architects, studying in Brussels, Ghent and Italy, such as: Dov Carmi, Genia Averbuch, Ben-Ami Shulman, Ze’ev Rechter and Joseph Neufeld. And of course—all of those prominent figures presented the new ideas to just everyone who was around.

In Tel Aviv only, more than 4,000 “Bauhaus Style” buildings were built. Thousands more were built in Haifa, Jerusalem, the Kibbutzim and elsewhere in Israel. The main question is, therfore—how, in an era when this new style was still unpopular, did it reach such magnitude in the built work in Israel? The main answer is that the social-cultural ideology behind the “Bauhaus Style” fit like a glove to the socialist-Zionist movement and to the striving of this movement to create a new world. White houses, in every sense—form, style, material, functionality, color—grew from the sands without a past, towards a future.

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 bauhaus1

 

 

Antwerp · Architecture · Art · History

Architectural Antwerp, pt. 2: the boundary between city and port

Compared to it’s European neighbors, Belgium is a small country geographically. Historically however, Belgium is the center of the European Union. The same with Antwerp. Being an important harbor for centuries, Antwerp has always had an important place on the economical map. Antwerp is part of the world, and the world is part of Antwerp. A lot of international exchanges have taken place, and are still taking place (for example diamonds). Because of that, Antwerp represents a huge international diversity and connectivity. This is why so many people are drawn to this little city in this little country. Antwerp gives you both the feeling of comfort and being close to one and another. On the other hand it gives you an overwhelming feeling of non-stop movement, cultural diversity and international importance.

To capture this aspect and to make it more “touchable”, a museum called the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom, or Museum by the River) opened its doors in 2011. The MAS is a landmark on the boundary between the city and the port, and it does so by telling the story of people with diverse perspectives on the world who came from a multitude of backgrounds. The MAS tells the story about the past, present and future of Antwerp. Because diversity is not a static feature, but always in motion, a special building was needed. It’s a difficult mission to bring a building – which is itself static – to a new level. The design was inspired by a sixteenth-century storehouse. The galleries are stacked up like ‘boxes’ creating a spiral tower with large expanses of glass. As you go up on the escalators from the ground floor to +9, you have a constantly changing view of Antwerp. In my opinion, the special window panes resemble the flow of a river. But not only the building is an eye-catching element! The square in front of the MAS is a work of art by Antwerp’s most famous living artist: a 1,600-m² mosaic entitled ‘Dead Skull’ by Luc Tuymans, his first public work to be permanently on display. The MAS is an architectural beauty (even though the local opinion about the architecture is divided). I had my doubts about it too, but seeing it all come together: the light of sunset on the red stones, the calmth of the river and the rush of the harbor, it somehow seems to work out.

Read the article about the MAS in the New York Times here

All pictures are copyrighted Sien Josephine (c)

Antwerp

Architectural Antwerp pt. 1: Southern contrasts

I woke up this morning with a bright little sun, reluctantly (and hopefully) announcing the beginning of Spring: my favorite season. I decided to spend the day outside, even though i was still recovering from a nasty cold which had kept me in bed for a few days. I started my day with some breakfast and family time (real family this time) at Caffè Internazionale (where else?) and from there I started the Tour d’Anvers. Camera at the ready, I rediscovered the South (or ‘t Zuid), coeur artistique d’Anvers.

I have walked the streets of this part of Antwerp over and over again, but the architectural variety never seizes to amaze me. It is said that the original street plan of the Antwerp South was inspired by Haussmann, a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris. The South quickly got the nickname “Le Petit Paris”. The neoclassical Royal Museum of Fine Arts was completed in 1894. It was primarily built as a “Temple to fine art” for the 1894 Antwerp World Exposition. On top of the building are two bronze figures of Fame with horse-drawn chariots by sculptor Thomas Vincotte, separated by four monumental sculptures representing Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, and Graphics.

Along with other monuments and cultural attractions (such as the Hippodroom-theatre, build in 1903), it made the South a fashionable place to live. After the V-bomb attacks during the Second World War, the area went into a long period of decline. The closing of the Southern Docks and the demolition of the Hippodrome in 1972 turned the South into a forgotten area, full of faded charm. With its revival mid 1980’s it became once again the fashionable heart of Antwerp. The opening of the Museum for Modern Art (MUKHA) in 1987 brought the South back to its artistic and cultural destination. More recently, the development of the large law courts complex on the former South Station site, labeled the Antwerp South’s architectural importance. This award-winning project, designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership in association with VKStudio and Ove Arup & Partners, opened in 2007.

The South of Antwerp is an area of contrasts. It’s a mixture of old glory and new modernism. A good example is the “Boathouse” in the Schilderstraat. This typical art nouvau-house was built for P. Poels, who owned a famous ship repairing company. It also reminds us of the primary economic activity of Antwerp: the harbor. A modern counterpart of the Boathouse is the gable of the Hoopnatie-building, which looks a bit like the bow of a cruise-ship.

This short but rich history gives the South its special feel. I like spending time here, especially in Summer when the terraces are filled with people or when i can enjoy the sunset on the stairs of the Royal Museum with friends while listening to some poetry and music at the Zuiderzinnen-festival (more on that later).

I finish my walk with a nice cup of tea, with the promise of taking you with me on a tour through my beloved Antwerp again soon.

Sien Josephine

 

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