Chanan Frenkel(Hans-Hermann Frenkel )

Chanan Frenkel, architect
Chanan Frenkel in front of the Bauhaus building in Dessau, ca. 1930
© Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau

Chanan Frenkel(Hans-Hermann Frenkel )

Bornon 22 July 1905 in Halle an der Saale, Germany
Diedon 30 April 1957 in Tel Aviv, Israel

After breaking off his apprenticeship as a sales clerk in Leipzig and ending an unfinished training course in a Berlin second-hand book store, Chanan Frenkel went for three years on Hakhshara (English “preparation”) at the age of 20. He was becoming increasingly interested in Zionism and was preparing to emigrate to Palestine. In 1926 Frenkel set up the “Cheruth” kibbutz in Hamelin, the first one in Germany, and then emigrated in 1928. 

He returned to Germany in 1930 to study architecture at the Bauhaus construction workshop under Ludwig Hilberseimer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and completed his studies on 15 August 1932 gaining Bauhaus degree No. 91. The spring of 1933 saw the Bauhaus graduate return to Palestine and play an enthusiastic role as an architect building up the country.

From the mid-1930s Frenkel worked – mainly as a model-maker – on the preparations for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937 and New York in 1939. He received his first private commission in 1938 and, in 1945, took part in the exhibition Contributions to Planning in Palestine: Kahane – Frenkel – Trostler – Witt in Bezalei Jewish National Museum in Jerusalem. Three years later he won first prize in the competition to design a bus station and indoor market in Natanya – projects that were never built. From the 1950s onwards, he specialized mainly in building hospitals. His most famous project is the blood bank in Jaffa.

Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau