Houses From Within grants you intimate access to the best in private and public architecture in Tel Aviv.
By ILANA HARTPublished: MAY 7, 2010 16:27Advertisement
Tel Aviv – the vibrant, seaside centenarian – has undergone a dramatic facelift in recent years. With the flux of migration toward the Center, the erection of high-rise buildings and the cleaning up of public spaces, this grandmother of a city has seen a great deal of investment and renovation, both in the environment and in its architecture over the past decade.“Architecture is very much about society, and architecture is very much about history, and it’s about environmental issues,” says Alon Bin-Nun, curator of “Houses from Within” (sponsored by Nikol), the 4th annual weekend-long event aimed at engaging the public with its built environment. “We have tried to show architecture not only as design and real estate... For us, it’s mainly about culture.”Aiming to attract upwards of 50,000 visitors – the estimated number of attendees at last year’s ‘open house’ – Bin-Nun has assembled a selection of privately-owned lofts and villas, significant public buildings and unique construction sites, plazas and parks, all whose doors will be open today and tomorrow for a rare glimpse inside.For those who are unsure where to begin, he offers three cross-spectrum program highlights:Private home: Yossi and Nash’s house – 11 Shemaya St., the Greek Market, Jaffa“The reason I really like this home is that it’s really personal and different from a lot of other homes,” says Bin-Nun. “There was no architect involved here – just a couple of good hands and good ideas. And they just renovated their own home reusing a lot of building materials that they found around them.” The owners – one of them a shiatsu therapist and the other a carpenter – moved in roughly two months ago, after designing the space out of recycled items, like the old oar that was converted into a banister. “It doesn’t look like a piece of garbage,” says Bin-Nun. “It looks really great.”Guided tour: Green Ramat Aviv – convening at the Eretz Israel Museum“There’s a very interesting tour of Ramat Aviv and the area that now holds the museums – the Eretz Israel Museum and Palmach Museum. It’s a very interesting tour because it looks at the topography, the history and the contemporary conditions of the area, which is not that popular with the architecture in Tel Aviv and not that known,” says Bin-Nun.Exploring the area of Ramat Aviv “A”, planned in the 1950s as a city housing project, the tour will highlight the neighbourhood’s recent renewal process including the current ‘eviction-rebuilding’ plans.Public building: City House – 27 Bialik St., Bialik SquareThe newly renovated Tel Aviv Historical Museum [now called the CityHouse Museum], which is housed inside the old City Hall of Tel Aviv, isanother fascinating architectural project, says Bin-Nun. “First of all,it’s the first city hall of Tel Aviv and it has historicalsignificance,” he says. “The building was renovated and preserved in avery meticulous way, and looks very nice and just exactly as it didwhen it was opened – maybe even better.” But the most interestingelement, he says, is the black box that was added onto the back of thebuilding – a dark space that holds the museum itself and the gallery.“The idea of adding a black box as a time capsule and a memory capsuleis very interesting,” says Bin-Nun. “Creating such a museum that islooking inside, hardly looking outside at all – this is a very uniqueinterpretation. You know, the White City suddenly has a black box in itthat holds the memory of the city.”The integration of both modern and historical aspects of the city’sbuilt environment is a particularly important part of “Houses fromWithin,” he explains, because “the field of architecture is wide anddiverse, and you need to see it as a whole, not just in the narrow way[you might] usually look at it.” With over 100 venues on display thisweekend, visitors will learn more about what was, what is and what willbecome critical elements of their urban habitat.For more information and to register: batim.mouse.co.il/en/
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