8 Engel St.

The building is included in the Tel-Aviv Municipality Preservation plan as a ‘Building for preservation with high restrictions’ and has a single owner. White City Buildings contacted the building owner regarding a business deal, according to which the company performed the preservation work in exchange for receiving the excess mobilization building rights. The company performed the preservation work which was completed in 2012 and currently the building is fully occupied.

Preservation Architect

Plessner Architects

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The story of the Building

The building was designed by the architects Schwartz and Hirsch in 1936. The Hendel building was designed in the international style, constructed by two cubic blocks: one is located on the street and the other on the retreat with round terraces inspired by models of ‘ship’ houses. The retreat from the street created an interior courtyard that is has become part of the pedestrian street, and its shape exceeds a bit from the line of buildings on the street which were designed in the international style that was typical in Tel-Aviv of the 30’s.
The two blocks are connected by a window element in the stairwell which is rendered with touches of Art Deco, whereas the horizontal element is created by the stripe set on the terraces. The finish of the building is done with washputz plaster that was typical of the houses in the 30’s and from a close glance you can see the aggregate that give the wall a special tone.
During the construction of the building Mendelson lived in Israel for a period of 8 years (during which he designed mainly in Haifa and in Israel) and significantly influenced the architects of the time, as well as the unique appearance of Tel-Aviv and in particular the construction of this building. In addition, the abundance of vegetation and gardens on this street preserve part of the historical plan of Patrick Geddes, who was a Scottish biologist and one of the inventors of urban planning adapted to the climate, the landscape, the individual and the society’s needs. Geddes was on good terms with the Zionist leadership and in 1927 was asked by then mayor of Tel-Aviv, Meir Dizengof, to conceive of a master plan for the city. As stated, Geddes aspired to make Tel-Aviv a garden city that combines the advantages of the village with those of the city. He planned the city’s development with regards to the weather conditions and utilized the sea breeze. This is reflected on Engel street where the front yards are rich with greenery.