The Assuta Hospital, planned by architect Joseph Neufeld in partnership with architects Schiller and Dicker, was built in 1935 in the International Style and served as a hospital from its very first day up to 2010, when it left its historic location.
Although it is unknown whether the planning of the open spaces was conducted by another architect or those who planned the buildings, it is obvious that these open spaces and their planning constituted an important integral part in the planning of the whole compound.
The main hospitalization structure features a local architectural language known as “International Style”. It is another item in the list of city buildings reflecting the modern architecture movement in Tel Aviv and typical of the building’s architect, Joseph Neufeld, who planned many other buildings across the city. As we can learn from historic pictures, the structure, planned in a functional fashion, was designed and fully furnished in the International Style that was very common at that time in Palestine.
During the hospital’s active years many changes were made in the buildings and in the compound’s development. In fact, except for the location of the open spaces and the surviving original trees, even the external soil cover was changed, regarding both vegetation and development details.
Since the hospital’s move from the compound and the abandoning of the buildings and gardens to their fate, there is a sharp deterioration in their condition.
In 2010 a zoning plan was approved for the compound, according to which the hospitalization structure and Nurses’ School were supposed to be converted into residential apartments. The administrative structure will be replaced by a kindergarten and instead of the quarantine wing in the rear eastern part of the hospital a 26-storey tall residential tower will be erected.
During the process of planning the conversion of the historic buildings into residential quarters we have encountered many difficulties stemming from the fact that these buildings, which are subject to conservation regulations, were planned to function as a hospital according to the standards of the 20th century. The original design was preserved, as well as a considerable portion of the open spaces and the roofed passage. Converting these buildings into private residential apartments and the addition of the new floor, also for residential purposes, is a new significant chapter in the site’s life, because it ensures the preservation of most buildings and the open spaces – contemporaneously with the frenetic development activities taking place around it.
Project Start: 12/2008
Initiator: Electra Construction Ltd. Company
Project Manager: Noam Raviv
Tower Architect: Moshe Tzur
Responsible Conservation Architect: Arch. Sivan Simon-Abargel