LocationTel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Lead ArchitectsJonathan Canetti, Noam Dvir
Text description provided by the architects. Villa Salame is located in the southern area of Tel Aviv, in the midst of alleys crowded with garages and craft shops. Abandoned for many years, the house was originally built around the 1850’s as a residential estate for an orchard owner and his family, featuring an inner courtyard in a typical local arabic style.
While planning the renovation, the architects thought of the house as a modern mediterranean oasis in the heart of a bustling urban area. In the design process great attention was given to maintain the true nature of the original stone house, while incorporating new and modern elements that suit the needs and beliefs of the young couple.
The most significant element was the limestone wall that crosses the entire house, from the guest room, throughout the courtyard, and back into the bedroom. Over the years, the wall was covered with plaster that was removed during the renovation, exposing the original local stone, openings and arches. The intersecting walls are made of steel framed glass, thus enabling one to see the original stone wall in its entirely and creating an interesting contrast of materials between the warm stone and the cool glass.
The inner limestone walls with arched openings, dictated the house’s plan division into three areas: a living room, kitchen- dining area and a third space divided into a work area and private bathroom. The floors of all three areas were covered with light concrete tiles and decorated colored frames. The arched openings in the original inner walls were accentuated by leaving a thin part of the limestone uncovered. The guest bathroom was completely rebuilt with a modern bare-concrete ceiling and painted oriental-style floor tiles.
The house is built in a shape a square with one of its corners cut off, surrounding an inner courtyard. From the street you enter the entrance hall, leading to the guest room and the rest of the house. The owners insisted on such a foyer, which is very common in private homes in Denmark, the owner’s home country. The heart of the house is nevertheless the courtyard; a tranquil green oasis with waffle-pattern flooring, a water feature and a flowering garden with cyclamens and fig trees that invite outdoor seating on green metal chairs. On both sides of the garden a thin deck was installed, and in the corner next to the bedroom is an outdoor shower for washing after the beach.