‘Open House’ peek inside Tel Aviv

The opportunity to explore dozens of Tel Aviv-Jaffa’s most interesting private spaces only comes around once every May, and this year the much-anticipated Houses from Within is scheduled for May 20 and 21. Perusing the schedule of 51 available sites …

The opportunity to explore dozens of Tel Aviv-Jaffa’s most interesting private spaces only comes around once every May, and this year the much-anticipated Houses from Within is scheduled for May 20 and 21.

Perusing the schedule of 51 available sites on this popular tour is enough to lure anyone off their own couch to get an insider’s guided glimpse of someone else’s.

And it’s not only private residences on view here — other intriguing places not generally open to the public eye include the one-of-a-kind Root Research Laboratory at Tel Aviv University’s Botanical Gardens and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Firehouse, with its observation tower overlooking the entire city.

The weekend also will include events such as an urban drawing workshop at the Tel Aviv Port, and exclusive tours of innovative housing projects, experimental architecture and recently opened public areas.

On Friday, for example, landscape architect Ruth Maoz will lead visitors through the spanking-new Reading Promenade linking the Yarkon Estuary with Tel Baruch Beach. She’ll shed light on the history of the site, which dates back to the ninth century, and show how the project revealed the Reading Complex`s “Forbidden City” after more than 70 years of closure.

Among the other tantalizing possibilities: The railroad train-like residence of residence of Israeli architects Erez Ella and Sharon Goren; Haggai Yuden’s Music Studio with its 150-year-old white piano; Mosaic House, formerly a private home decorated from floor to ceiling with mosaics depicting Israeli song stars, politicians and international public figures; the roof of 20 Alfassi Street, made of recycled raw materials; designer Gal Florsheim’s childhood home near the Habima Theater; the private residence of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion; and the “G” commercial center in Tzameret Park, built out of a network of diagonal columns of white concrete rhombuses.

About Abigail Klein Leichman

Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.