This year is set to be a good one for Tel Aviv. Not only has it seen the renovation and construction of three major cultural institutions in the city (The Tel Aviv Cinematheque, Habima National Theatre and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art extension by American practice Preston Scott Cohen), but things were made official when Mayor Ron Huldai named 2012 Tel Aviv’s ‘Art Year’.
Next on the city’s agenda is the popular Open House event, Houses from Within, for which some of architecture's finest doors will be thrown open this weekend. 'This year we will have some 150 different events, with about 30 private homes, 40 public buildings, 50 walking tours and around 30 activities, such as bike tours, office held exhibitions etc,' says curator and architect Alon Bin Nun.
With over 100 homes open to the public free-of-charge, the event is set to show off Tel Aviv’s unique architectural mix, including old, new and renovated work by local and international architects. It also features special treats, unique to this year’s event. 'We have a tour led by world-renowned Israeli sculptor Dani Karavan in the Cultural Plaza - which he designed between the main concert hall - the national theater and a museum, as an homage to the orchards and sand dunes of early Tel Aviv,' says Bin Nun. 'Also, the French ambassador's house in Jaffa is open this year for the first time. It is a beautiful International Style building in the heart of Jaffa’s Arab section, an area otherwise made up of rural vernacular Arab houses. The story behind the house is quite extraordinary. It was designed by Jewish architect Izack Rapeport for a wealthy Arab in the 1930s. The house was later sold to the French government.'
Part of the worldwide Open House family that includes similar events in London, New York, Barcelona, Dublin and Rome, House from Within is now on its sixth year and is set to attract over 80,000 visitors during the weekend-long event. Spanning new build houses, chic urban lofts and conversions, synagogues, public buildings and urban spaces, this event has something for everybody.