Born in Berlin, Heinz Chaim Fenchel studied architecture at the Staatliche Hochschule der Bildenden Künste in Berlin, Charlottenburg, working in Hans Poelzig’s studio.
His first job in 1928 was as a stage designer at the Große Schauspielhaus which was a well known Berlin theatre and comedy. This led to a successful career in the film industry working as a production designer/ film architect for UFA, the famous Berlin film studio, home to scores of stars who would later relocate to Hollywood.
When the National Socialists came to power his career immediately ended as UFA was targeted as an important propaganda tool for the Nazi Party. He left suddenly leaving everything behind him, initially and briefly to Denmark and then to British Mandate Palestine.
Heinz Fenchel was creative, knowledgable and versatile, he accepted commissions for interior design as well as small projects and private homes, he built a series of much loved cafes in Tel Aviv including Kapulsky Cafe which contributed to the cafe culture vibe.
Commissioned by Moishe Mayer, together with Thomas Leiterdorf he built the Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and he also built the first incarnation of the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel for Yekutiel and Shmuel Federmann.
Fenchel featured in the 2012 Rubin Museum exhibition An Architect’s Paintbrush in Tel Aviv.
Heinz Fenchel 1906 -1988
Image Howard Morris ©