New Urbanism is an urban design movement that promotes walkable neighborhoods that are inspired by older, historic neighborhoods. In recent times, more modernist architecture is being built with these new urban developments, and often times it is allowed because there are no rules that forbid modernism, or require buildings to be done in a traditional style. Often times the modernist building will have shop fronts and windows on the street to promote walkability, but what is neglected is just how much traditional architecture contributes to the experience of a street.
Tel Aviv is a city that experienced most of its growth after World War II and therefore has all modernist architecture, and very little, if any, traditional architecture. This is perfect, because it is now possible to see how much traditional architecture contributes to the overall aesthetic of the street by showing what it looks like when it is absent. Here is modernism in the context of modernism. Often times you see a modernist building in the context of an historic neighborhood, where the modernist building is dependent on the surrounding architecture to provide a counterpoint of contrast to the modernist’s work. Here there is no contrast or counterpoint, just endless modern architecture. In fact, it seems that the best streets of Tel Aviv are ones that have large enough trees so that a tree canopy hides the architecture beyond.
The random Google street views are just that: Scanning across Google Maps, and randomly dropping the man icon onto a random location on the map to see what the street view is, and then saving the view for use here.
Future posts will show random Google street views of Paris, London and Bucharest, all cities with traditional architecture. The purpose for posting random street views of these cities is to contrast the starkness of Tel Aviv’s street views.