The year 1935 saw the beginning of the planning process of an impressive, modernist structure for Mr. Eliezer Rubinsky by the architects L. Kranowski and E. Marcusfeld (whose signatures appear on the plans); no documents were found regarding the involvement of architect Lucian Korngold (to whom the planning is attributed, probably erroneously).
However, this fact does not detract from the building being one of the most important and prominent buildings in the International Style in Tel Aviv. The approval of these plans was accompanied by a struggle familiar to us from the Engel House (84 Rothschild St., planned by Zeev Rechter), due to the Tel Aviv Municipality’s initial objection to building on pillars; once it was persuaded to do so, the city even required that all the buildings built in Tel Aviv from the late 1930’s on be built on pillars.
The building was erected as a residential building with spacious apartments and a luxurious lobby. However, it became well-known for the design of its different and distinct façades (facing Gilboa and Sheinkin streets). The whole building is coated with ground plaster (Kratzputz) with a sparkling mineral additive typical of the period and constituting one of the building’s identifying marks.
This building attests to the fact that International Style architects in Tel Aviv used to decorate their buildings with modern-style decorations, something that went completely against the spirit of the Bauhaus founders and of the period. One may notice the awnings, the round windows, rounded terraces, hanging concrete beams and gutters serving more as ‘decorations’ than fulfilling some practical function.
The building was purchased in 2006 by an entrepreneurial company that wanted to preserve it within the framework of the “Heart of the City” (Lev Ha’air) urban plan and to add a new penthouse that would not be too conspicuous from the street below. Its external envelope was carefully preserved, including the preservation and restoration of most elements in the building.
The interiors of most of the apartments were changed according to the owners’ needs. An internal elevator was installed and all the technical and electromechanical systems were replaced.
The improvised parking, occupying the entire area underneath the frontal pillars, was cancelled and several official parking spaces were arranged at various locations inside the lot. In addition, all the terraces that had been enclosed over the years were reconstructed and reopened.
Project initiation: 2006
Project completion: 2008
Project Initiator: White City Buildings
Interior Architect: “Gad Studio”
Project management: Shlomo Rotlevi Engineering Ltd.