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Born in 1887 in Allenstein, Germany, Erich Mendelsohn was a world-famous Jewish architect. When the Nazis rose to power, he moved to England and Israel, working for varying periods in each country. Eventually he settled in the United States, where he died in 1953.
Mendelsohn is considered one of the great modern architects. Topography, climate, and culture were important factors in his work. He insisted on planning the gardens and interior design details of his buildings, including lighting and furniture. In his own house, built in 1927, he designed all of the kitchenware and utensils.
Mendelsohn was known as a great lover of nature. He made use of shapes derived from nature, especially the spiral structures seen in the shells of sea mollusks. Such spirals served as the basis for his design of staircases.
Among Mendelsohn’s famous works in Germany are the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, various factories, the Schocken family commercial buildings, and power plants. The Weizmann House was his first project in Israel. Later on, he also designed the Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus, the Anglo-Palestinian Bank, the Schockens’ house in Jerusalem, the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, and the Wolf Building at the Weizmann Institute of Science.