Photographs: Gidon Levin
Humans need two opposing qualities of space: One is protected and solid – a cave, while the other, is light and flowing with the outside – a hut. In Israel, earthquakes and security threats lead to widespread use of concrete. The challenge of integrating the solid concrete with light and ecological building technologies is even greater.
Furthermore, the design aspired to reduce its ecological footprint by compressing into two floors, without losing access to the yard, on both levels. By semi-excavating the lower floor and raising the northern yard, a topographic house was created, naturally blending into its surroundings- the wild natural field on the south and the garden on the north.
As a generator of landscape, the house’s concrete walls continue into the landscape, turning into garden terraces, thereby creating an organic connection between the exterior and the interior, blurring partitions between natural and manmade.
Levels of duality – The combination of the contextual concept (topographic house) with the spatial (the cave and the hut), led to the materialization and specification of each of the two floors.
The lower floor, designed for the private spaces of the family, is made mostly of concrete, (necessary as a supporting wall for the soil) and wooden additions that are designated to fulfill specific needs, such as the sleeping boxes that stand out from the house, and defining a space within a space. The upper floor, that holds the main entrance and the common spaces, has a lighter character. Using a wood construction, the envelope is double layered – an interior layer with thermal mass of ecological silicate blocks, and an exterior wooden layer, mainly covered with plaster. Most of the wooden windows, including those in the patio, were positioned in retreat from the front, to minimize the direct sun radiation, yet, were generously deployed on the cooler northern facade, where the wide view of the fruitful garden is opening. Together with the careful design of passive cross ventilation, the house deal with the Israeli harsh heat and light ideally.
Confronting the lightness of this floor, there is a measured use of concrete, mainly as a monolithic centerpiece, which rises from the bottom up, and serving as a functional HUB for systems.
Designed by InSIDEoutARCH – Website
Engineer: Yaron Karni
Concrete Floor: Peles
Windows, doors and wooden shutters: Peled
Interior doors: Etz Yarok
Kitchen | Bathrooms carpentry: Charlie’s Carpentry Rishpon
Carpentry Bedrooms: Shlomi Angel
Landscaping: Rotem Segal
Lighting Consultant: RTLD
Glass works: Ido Shemesh
Sofa in the living room: Atnachta
Go to FINESHMAKER homepage