A Forgotten Kibbutz Building Designed by Buckminster Fuller Holds a Lesson for Tel Aviv Architects

The housing projects and public structures of Israel's early decades were considered boring and ugly, and have been forgotten. But the story of one remarkable building could offer an alternative to Tel Aviv's glittery towers

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Beit Habanim, Kfar Menahem. An important work by one of the greatest architects of his time.
Beit Habanim, Kfar Menahem. An important work by one of the greatest architects of his time.
זיוה שטרנהל
זיוה שטרנהל

While the planning authorities dream of transforming Tel Aviv and Jerusalem into Singapore-like “world-class cities,” and architects compete to design glittering glass towers that are meant in part to lend a prestigious image to corporations and high-tech firms, one architect, Michael Jacobson, insists on swimming against the current. Every week for the past 13 years, he has used his blog, “Rear Window,” mostly to document buildings from the country’s first decades, though they are considered irrelevant in the reality of the early 21st century. He has already described in detail about 2,000 structures, many of them situated in kibbutzim, moshavim and in towns of the geographical periphery. Some have been forgotten, others were never before documented.

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