The Rivka Grinwald House at 4 Shadal St. was built in 1929 by architect Yehuda Magidovich as a private residence in the eclectic style that characterized the period. Mrs. Rivka Shapira-Grinwald was the daughter of Michael Shapira, the older brother of Abraham Shapira, one of the elders of the “Shomrim” and founders of Petah-Tikvah. When she was only 16, with her father’s demise, Ms. Shapira had inherited a considerable fortune. Later on, after selling some of her orchards in Petah-Tikvah, she bought a double lot at 4 Shadal and 29 Yavneh streets, where the family houses were built. In 1933, another floor was added to the house by architect Carl Rubin and, during the years various additions were built. The house is noted for its architectural details of utmost quality, including many examples of colorful tiling, splendid wall paintings and fine interior carpentry.
Over the years, and having had a myriad of different tenants in the building, including a restaurant in recent years, its internal and external condition deteriorated severely, almost completely masking its heritage values. In 1981, the house was sold to Clal Insurance Company Ltd., on condition that Mrs. Rivka Grinwald would be allowed to live there until her death. In 1991, the building was listed for preservation in local urban plan initiated by the Clal Insurance Company and followed up by the First International Bank.
In the early 1990s, our office was approached by the Clal Insurance Company to document all the buildings in the site, including Rivka Grinwald House, for the purpose of appraising the planning and construction potential of the area. In the mid-1990s, after moving into its new offices, Clal sold the site to the First International Bank. At that stage, our office was asked to plan the preservation of the Rivka Grinwald House, together with several other structures, as a part of the Bank’s Management Tower Project.
The planning of the Bank Tower was entrusted to the international architect I. M. Pei (who planned the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, and many other important projects). The preservation of the building itself was planned so it could be suspended, in order to be able to excavate 6 parking levels underneath it, as part of the Tower’s basements.
In light of the documentation on the building, it was decided to dismantle the non-original upper floor, which had been added later and was not particularly important. It was decided to return the building to its original state, as it had been planned by the architect Yehuda Magidovich.
The urban plan for the First International Bank Management Tower required to preserve and to transfer the entire building to the Tel Aviv Municipality as a public structure for public uses. The building was meticulously preserved, with all its external and internal details, and was also prepared to serve as a public building by making it handicapped-accessible and by adding an indoor elevator.
Project initiation: 2002
Project completion: 2010
Project Initiator: The First International Bank
Tower Architect: I.M.Pei & Partners in cooperation with Nir-Kutz Architects
Project management: Nitzan Inbar Project Management