Bauhaus and the White City of Tel Aviv 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 

10:00 a.m. on ZOOM* 

* This is part of the History Interest Group's program. To join this group contact the convenor. If you are not a member of CFUW but would like to join us, email  to request a link to our ZOOM meeting. We always welcome new members. 


Ian Ferguson

M.A.  Art History, Carleton University (2014)

Ian Ferguson is a former Canadian diplomat who served in a variety of regions including Latin America, Africa, Middle East, and the United Nations. Following retirement, he obtained his M.A. in Art History from Carleton University in 2014.

After visiting Tel Aviv in 2016, he was inspired to research its architectural history. He has lectured on this topic in co-sponsorship with the World Congress of Art Deco Societies, the Art Deco Society of Montreal, the Toronto Architectural Conservancy and the Toronto Society of Architects. He has published articles in the Journal of Canadian Art History and the National Gallery of Canada online magazine. 

Ian currently serves as a Heritage Ottawa Board member and as a docent at the National Gallery of Canada. 

Bauhaus - The Palestine Mandate


Following the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus (1919-33), it is timely to take stock of the school's radical innovations combining design and architecture, and how its influence spread internationally.

This presentation looks at how Bauhaus (broadly defined) took root in a corner of the British Empire called the Palestine Mandate. It introduces pioneering architects who brought modernist ideals from Europe and applied them to both public and private buildings. Local adaptations to climate, topography, and social structures helped ensure the style’s success while reflecting modernist aspirations of a new architecture for a future nation.

The use of local materials, creative use of balconies, and adherence to principles of modern city planning advocated by Sir Patrick Geddes all contributed to a sustainable outcome which has permanently shaped Tel Aviv’s urban life and streetscapes. 

Tel Aviv still counts nearly 1,000 historic structures, the largest collection of Bauhaus-style buildings anywhere in the world. It has earned the city a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2003 for the creation of “an outstanding architectural ensemble of the Modern Movement in a new cultural context.” 

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