The Leitersdorf and Belzitsman Architects firm, which was active for a short period of time between 1946-1970, left a physical and significant mark on the construction of Israel. A public architecture, which was deeply connected to the government and its facilities. Many of the buildings planned over the years were social, administrative and sometimes political sources at the first days of the young country; many of them remain so today.

The professional encounter between Andre Leitersdorf and Iliya Belzitsman happened at the office of Ze’ev Rechter, where the two worked together for a short period of time during 1945. Belzitsman, who began working for Rechter back during the war, in 1943, met Leitersdorf and offered him to join the firm; but the financial strains of that time led to the reduction of the workforce and the firing of the latter. The two began cooperating back then, at the Tiberius bath houses design competition, in which they came in third. A few months later, Belzitsman resigned and they opened their own firm in 1946, at the basement of Leitersdorf’s house on Ester HaMalka street, Tel Aviv.

 

The Leitersdorf and Belzitsman Architects firm’s first project was planning the Petach Tikva Histadrut House, which they won the competition for its design. This building was the starting point of the long and fruitful relationship with the Worker’s Council (Histadrut), which was the firm’s most significant client over the years. Petach Tikva municipality was also one of its significant clients, with dozens of buildings being planned in the city, among them were the Yad LeBanim Complex, the Human Anatomy Museum, Oron Cinema, HaSharon Hospital and more.

 

At the beginning of the 1960’s, the firm transferred to its current location, at 26 Remez street, and at its peak had about seventeen employees, which included engineers and draftsmen as well as the architects. With planning over 400 projects, most of which were public buildings spread around the country, the firm was one of the most fruitful and important firms in the country at its time, and its body of work serves as a central stage in the architectural project story that is Israel.

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