The Weizmann House was built in 1936 as the private home of the first President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann, and first First Lady, Vera Weizmann. Designed by German-Jewish architect Erich Mendelsohn, the house is recognized as an architecturally significant 20th-century home and is now part of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
The Weizmann House is located on top of a hill in Rehovot. The house was designed to look like a ship at sea, reflecting the unique juxtaposition between the modern architecture that developed in Europe during the 1930s and traditional Mediterranean influences.
The 11-acre garden surrounding the house was designed with a unique topography of terraces to represent waves. The water theme echoes in the estate’s mirror-like pool, reflecting the home’s central tower.
Who was Erich Mendelsohn?
So the designer of the house, Erich Mendelsohn, was a Jewish German architect and a contemporary of world-renowned architects Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. In 1926, the three architects started a progressive group called Der Ring to promote modernist architecture in Berlin.
Moreover, with the rise of Nazi Germany in 1933, he was ousted from the German Architects’ Union and forced to move to England, where he started anew and continued to work. Erich Mendelsohn and Weizmann’s collaboration began in 1934, with the architect planning a series of projects in Palestine during the British Mandate. In 1935, he opened an office in Jerusalem and designed Jerusalem stone buildings in the International Style.
Designed to reflect the nuances of the International Style, the Weizmann House still has Mendelsohn’s signature expressionist style. After Chaim Weizmann’s death, his widow, Dr. Vera Weizmann, continued to live in the house until she died in 1966. It was opened to the public as a museum in 1978.
Weizmann House – Visitor Information:
Hours: Sun – Thurs. 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Visits must be arranged in advance by calling: 08-9344499
Additional information can be found at http://www.chaimweizmann.org.il