Saturday, May 19, 2012

From Within 3

Continuing this series on a few of the hundreds of sites open to the public at Tel Aviv's Houses from Within weekend, we lined up for a guided tour of a newly renovated industrial building on Simtat Chelouche. Although close to trendy Neve Tzedek, this is a pretty desolate spot in an unkempt side road situated in the seam line between the old army museum and Derekh Yaffo. In this setting, the clean lines of the spanking white exterior are especially striking.

This International Style building was not on the preservation list but was nevertheless lovingly restored and renovated. The building was purchased by a group of five friends  who commissioned an architect to create airy, light filled apartments with plenty of shared, communal spaces, like a rooftop garden. 

A shower cubicle open to the roof. Behind it you can see a movable skylight. 

A living room.

On Day 2 we switched from bicycles to 'Vespa' to visit some sites a bit further afield.  These are pools that once watered the the citrus orchards that flourished around Yaffo at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries until they were overtaken by development as Tel-Aviv grew. Their local Arab owners sometimes built "well houses" nearby, some of them in luxurious style.These pools will soon be renovated as part of gan ha-hursha (Grove Garden), a 250 dunam area near the zoological gardens, the Russian Church and the Abu Kabir forensic institute in south Tel Aviv.  In one area, the old irrigation channels will be reconstructed to show how the system worked. The park new park will also be linked to Florentin, creating a much needed green outlet for the south.     

Finally, some of the planting solutions created by an ecological designer called Yael who lives in the outlying suburb of Hadar Yosef in a house surrounded by walls of vertically growing plants. She and her husband imagine Tel-Aviv covered in green walls, some of them edible. Her company designs and markets these vertical growing pouches. The lower photo shows two crates lined from the inside,  filled with compost and sprouting vegetables. It serves as both a planting area and a fence. 

Not shown is a crate of decomposable / disposable diapers, no earth added, also sprouting um....veg...

Thank you batim mibifnim.

No comments:

Five Sinai Scenes

1. Crossing the border The transition into the Third World is immediate. Time slows down. The Egyptian customs officials greet...