|M.Sc Student||Mayer Avi|
|Subject||Samuel (Sam) Barkai Architecture in Tel-Aviv, 1934-1939|
International Style in Tel-Aviv that was
Influenced by the Architecture of Le
Corbusier in Paris
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Nitza Szmuk|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
This work examines the contribution of Samuel (Sam) Barkai (1898-1975) to the development of Tel-Aviv's avant-garde architecture of the 1930s, influenced by Le Corbusier. Barkai was responsible for conceiving Tel-Aviv's design in the spirit of the International Style, which he reassessed by elements of Le Corbusier’s purist architecture .
Barkai immigrated to Palestine in the 1920s, yet left the country at 1926. The move compelled him to relearn his profession, and he was enriched by a serious of experiences before he returned to Palestine in 1934 .
While attending graduate studies in Paris, Barkai worked on various projects. His work reflects his signature design concepts, which he had already implemented in Palestine. Barkai worked in Le Corbusier’s Atelier, which was at its professional peak at the time .
Barkai returned to Tel-Aviv in 1934 and immersed himself in architecture, both in the realm of his professional career and in the field of public activity. Barkai set up his office and proceeded to design mostly residential buildings. Most of his clients belonged to Tel-Aviv's bourgeoisie and were associated with Bohemian circles in the city .
Between 1934 and 1939, Barkai's body of work was informed by the Purist stream, the Dutch Oud's architecture, the Russian Constructivists, and the mutual influences among members of Tel-Aviv architects’ milieu - "The Chug".
The influence of Le Corbusier permeated into Tel-Aviv architecture via the members of "The Chug" and through other architects that have acquired their education in Europe:
Rechter was the first to introduce the residential Pilotis, and the adaptation of the roof to be used communally by the residents.
Karmi adapted the strip window with the use of the receded balcony, which became widespread.
Sharon synthesized between the Purist approach and the introverted oriental plan.
Rubin expanded Le Corbusier's principles of free floor and facade, into the design of office buildings.
"The Chug" had a large influence on Barkai’s professional and public path. He became a leading member and an unofficial spokesman of Israeli architecture. Barkai and Posener, were the first “architectural reporters” in Israel. Barkai also contributed to the journal L’Architecture d'Aujourd'hui, which allowed him to maintain contact with European architecture .
A perspective on Barkai’s architecture is gained by a survey of the architect's projects between 1947 and 1973. In this period, Barkai distanced his work from the purist essence, and moved toward the inconsistent design that characterized his work towards the end of his career.