Solar Energy and Natural Materials: Tel Aviv Architecture on Display at Berlin Bauhaus Exhibit

Of the 1,500 entries in the competition, 20 were selected to be displayed at the gallery, including two from Israel

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Structure constructed of recycled natural fibers, inspired by the shape of sand dunes.
Structure constructed of recycled natural fibers, inspired by the shape of sand dunes.Credit: NCA Architects/ Prof. Oded Shosayov/ Arch. Guy Austern
Naama Riba
Naama Riba
Naama Riba
Naama Riba

Over the weekend an exhibition entitled “Beyond Bauhaus” opened in Berlin. It was organized by the organization Deutschland – Land der Ideen (Germany – Land of Ideas). The exhibition, which runs through September 1 at the CLB Gallery in German capital, grew out of an international competition marking the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement of international style.

It focuses on the countries where that style of architecture has been prevalent – China, United States, Brazil, Germany and Israel. Of the 1,500 entries in the competition, 20 were selected to be displayed at the gallery, including two from Israel.

A strong lightweight building made of fibers at the BUGA pavilion.
A strong lightweight building made of fibers at the BUGA pavilion.Credit: CD/ITKE Universität Stuttgart

Architect Hila Shemer, who coordinated the competition in Israel, explained that the exhibition seeks to depict Bauhaus not as a style but as a theme. The show is an effort to present “solutions that architects and designers need today,” as she described it, “whether it relates from an ecology standpoint to air and water pollution or the future of the food industry and agriculture, and how we can find solutions for those with disabilities.”

Lightweight fiber construction.
Lightweight fiber construction.Credit: CD/ITKE Universität Stuttgart

Among the displays is a pavilion dubbed BUGA, designed by partners from the University of Stuttgart and the Institute for Building Structures and Structural Design. The structure, made of fiber, is light and strong and weighs a fifth of the weight of a similar structure made of steel.

Individual solar cells of the 'Solar Spine.'
Individual solar cells of the 'Solar Spine.'Credit: Dr. Timo Carl / Dr. Markus Schein

Another project is Ignis (meaning “fire” in Latin). It’s a lamp designed for areas where there is no electricity as well as for areas hit by natural disasters. The device produces electricity that can be derived from heat, oil or the wind. Then there is Solar Spine, which is composed of 300 solar-cell modules that produce electricity by tracking the movement of the sun.

Solar Spine is constructed of individual solar cells that track the sun's movements.
Solar Spine is constructed of individual solar cells that track the sun's movements.Credit: Dr. Timo Carl / Dr. Markus Schein

Also on display is a design from the Israeli firm ECOncrete, which develops marine infrastructure such as breakwaters and harbor basins using natural materials, among others. These ecological structures permit marine plants to grow on concrete surfaces and to strengthen the material.

A marine structure built by ECOncrete, made from natural materials.
A marine structure built by ECOncrete, made from natural materials.Credit: ECOncrete

The other Israeli project selected for the exhibition was produced by Nir and Nili Chen’s firm NCA Architects and Dr. Guy Austern, who made use of nanocellulose, tiny particle cells, for building design. They designed an educational and cultural building for Bedouin communities in the Negev that is inspired by the shape of sand dunes. It is constructed entirely out of recycled natural fibers.

A structure constructed with nanocellulose, inspired by the shapes of sand dunes.
A structure constructed with nanocellulose, inspired by the shapes of sand dunes.Credit: NCA Architects/ Prof. Oded Shosayov/ Arch. Guy Austern

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