Built in 1936, the Weizmann House was the private residence of Dr. Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952) and his wife Dr. Vera Weizmann (1881-1966). Chaim Weizmann was a scientist, President of the World Zionist Organization (1921-1931 and 1935-1946), first President of the State of Israel (1948-1952), and founder and first President of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Vera Weizmann was a pediatrician.
The Weizmanns were born in Russia, studied in Germany and Switzerland, and lived for some 30 years in England. They chose to build their home in the Land of Israel, in Rehovot, next to the Daniel Sieff Research Institute, which later became the Weizmann Institute of Science.
The house was designed by Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953), an acclaimed Jewish architect who had fled Germany when the Nazis came to power. The Weizmann House was Mendelsohn’s first project in the Land of Israel. It’s a modern structure, sited on a hill overlooking the coastal plain to the west and the Judean Mountains to the east. Mendelsohn described it as a “model house for a person standing on the stage of history.”
A special effort was made to adapt the structure to its physical environment, culture, and climate. It was referred to as a modern, aristocratic house, in harmony with its surroundings, well suited to its purpose, fully expressing the soul of its owners, and, like them, a national treasure. In popular parlance the house was referred to as “the palace.” Its dimensions were large and its style unique.