LocationHerzliya Pituach, Israel
Text description provided by the architects. The building's size is 182m² and it was built on a 500m² lot. It's the home of 6 people – the parents and their four children.
The ground floor includes the living room, kitchen, dining area, guests' rest room, main bedroom with a private bathroom and a shelter that is also used as a closet room. The first floor includes two bed rooms, a bathroom and a laundry room. Another bedroom is located in the attic.
This project was in fact a renovation of an old building – emptying its interior, strengthening it and enlarging it, mainly by using light construction materials. Originally, the building had several rooms on the ground floors – including a cowshed – and an external staircase led to the first floor, where the main living area was.
The building set some challenges for us as designers, the main one was the very low ceilings and even lower structural beams (2.15m from ground level to the lower part of the beams). That prevented sun light from entering the building's inner spaces and caused the feeling of suffocation and a lack of fresh air.
The leading guideline for the design of the exterior appearance was using neutral dark shades in order to create a building that fits in the shadow of the tall trees and the garden that surround it. Therefore, the chosen shades for the front of the building were mainly grey and dark green.
The experience one gets while walking down the path, the yard and all the way to the lobby is of a natural structure that assimilates in its surroundings which creates a feeling of surprise when entering the house's inner spaces.
This feeling of surprise when entering the inner space of the lobby is achieved by the great amount of sunlight that enters the light shaded and tall space (6.5m tall) that we created by removing the old ceiling in order to combine the storey into one, where we also placed the new path between the levels.
We replaced the outer walls of the upper part of the building with large glass windows, 3.2m wide. In order to regulate the amount of sunlight that enters the house, electric blinds were installed.
The massive appearance of the thick pillars and salient openings is more than just a matter of design but also a static solution for problems with the old construction. By encasing the old pillars in concrete, iron and bricks, these problems were solved.
The new additions to the building, the new floors and attic were all made with light materials such as iron profiles, wood, panels etc.