Architect In Charge: Hilla Havkin
Design Team: Hilla Havkin, Peter Ausems
Text description provided by the architects. A small Bauhaus rooftop apartment in the heart of Tel Aviv has become a weekend getaway. This 70sq.m apartment in the city center is situated in an old Bauhaus building. When we began the process, its original layout seemed like a patchwork of rooms. It consisted of a small entrance hall with few doors leading to separate spaces. Each function had its own room, with the main ones leading to further spaces.
The clients purchased this apartment to serve as a vacation home. Their main request was, that it will resemble the same atmosphere of freedom that they enjoyed so much on their long journey in the Far East. Therefore, the first stage of the renovation process was to tear down all those walls and obstacles, in order for the space to express that atmosphere and feel open and airy. Now, there are no clear borders between functionalities: spaces develop from one to the next, without separation walls.
The entrance to the apartment is through a dark wardrobe that is hanging on an external wall. A lofty space connects to a balcony that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the roofs of Tel Aviv. White brick walls and purple vintage terrazzo works connect with the history of this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage building. An exposed shower that is in the heart of the space, is another expression of freedom so much desired by the clients. An extended purple counter holds both the sink where they brush their teeth, as well as everything required for the preparation of a light meal. Whereas the dining area is the most intimate, the most secret is the toilet. A panel in the wall brings you to another world: a forest, full of birds. It happened when you were not looking for it.
Inspiration for this home-away-from-home was drawn from C.S. Lewis’ story "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". A key line in the book says: “But don’t go trying the same route twice. Indeed, don’t try to get there at all. It will happen when you are not looking for it”. The entrance door is a cabinet, the kitchen is a bathroom, the living room is a bedroom, a cabinet is a toilet. It is never just what it seems like.