Highlights from Tel Aviv continue this week. As you may recall reading two weeks ago, OHNY’s Executive Director, Renee Schacht, visited Tel Aviv in May to attend Open House Tel Aviv and take part in the inaugural Open House Worldwide Conference. Her first day in Tel Aviv began with coffee and champagne on the roof of the Brown TLV Urban Hotel with her fellow Open House colleagues from the around the world. The group spent the day visiting a long list of sites which included the First International Bank of Israel by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the Ohel Moed Synagogue, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s new addition designed by Preston Scott Cohen, the Peres Center for Peace, and a private residence in the Jaffa.

First International Bank of Israel

First International Bank of Israel

The building is situated diagonally between two historic buildings, the HESEG House from 1924 and the Beit Va’ad Hakehila, along Rothschild Blvd.  Construction of the tower began in early 2003 and the building was completed in 2009.

After visiting one Tel Aviv’s most contemporary new buildings, the group toured the Ohel Moed Synagogue,  one of the city’s first synagogues from 1931.

Ohel Moed Synagogue

Ohel Moed Synagogue from 1931

The synagogue was founded in the 1920s by Ben Zion Hai Uziel, the head Spanish rabbi of the City of Tel Aviv, and is used until this very day by the Spanish ethnic group in Tel Aviv.

situated in the center of the synagogue, the dome is made of 15 steps.

Currently under construction and due for completion in the late 2011, the group later visited the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s new addition designed by Preston Scott Cohen.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Tel Aviv Museum of Art built in 1971

Exterior of the new addition

the exterior of the museum's new addition (still under construction)

Interior of the new addition

guided tour of the museum's new addition

exiting the new addition

After having the extraordinary opportunity to experience Preston Scott Cohen’s use of shapes, space and light to create beautiful gallery spaces, the group made its way to Jaffa to visit the Peres Center for Peace.  The building serves as the new headquarters for the Peres Center, a non-profit organization that works to build peace in the Middle East through socio-economic cooperation and development. Designed by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas, the structure is situated along the Jaffa coast next to an old Arab cemetery.

Front Facade of the Peres Center for Peace

front of the Peres Center for Peace facing the Mediterranean Sea

side facade of the peres center for peace

side facade of the Peres center for peace

Construction began in 2003 and the building officially opened in December 2009. The Center houses the Shimon Peres historical archives and library- for the benefit of researchers and students.

Peres Center for Peace library

the library on the first floor

Interior staircase in the Peres Center for Peace

Rick Bell and others ascending the stairs inside the center

The building also acts as a conference center enabling the Peres Center to host conferences, talks and arts events.

view from the the terrace

view of the Mediterranean Sea and the old Arab cemetery

Special thanks to Leonardo Mayol, Director of Open House Rome, for his fantastic photographs! And an incredible thanks to the Israeli Consulate for inviting OHNY to be a part of and organizing this incredible event.

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