Baerwald, Alex

views updated


BAERWALD, ALEX (1878–1930), one of the first Jewish architects in Ereẓ Israel. He was born in Berlin, and studied architecture at Charlottenburg. In 1910, he was invited by the Hilfsverein to plan the Technion buildings and the Reali school in Haifa. In these buildings, Baerwald tried to create a Jewish style of architecture, based on Muslim architecture.

Baerwald settled in Palestine in 1925, when he was appointed a lecturer at the Technion (which had been opened in 1924), and founded its Faculty of Architecture. He built many buildings in Haifa, Tel Aviv, and elsewhere in Palestine, in the same style that he developed in the Technion buildings (Bet Struck, the Anglo-Palestine Bank in Haifa). In spite of the quality of these buildings and their high architectural standard their influence on the development of architecture in Jewish Palestine was very limited. Baerwald himself designed a number of buildings in the contemporary modern European style. These include the Central Jezreel Valley Hospital and the Electricity Company's power stations at Haifa and Tiberias. He also planned two buildings in kibbutz Merḥavyah, combining rural European architecture with Middle Eastern motifs.

add. bibliography:

A. Elhanani, "Israeli Architecture in the Twentieth Century" (Heb., 1998).

[Abraham Erlik]