Tag Archives: Pitsou Kedem Architects

old jaffa house.

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In the ancient port city of Old Jaffa in Israel, a building hundreds of years old has been stripped of all extraneous elements to reveal the original structure of broken clay and shells, vaulted ceilings and huge archways. These textures and materials have been left expressed, and contemporary elements added to allow the home to respond to modern life.

Highly tensioned stainless steel cables form a vertical balustrade, drawing the eye on up. Cor-ten steel treads cantilever out of a béton brut wall; the concrete left unfinished with the imprint of the plywood formwork used for pouring still visible on the surface. Openings are framed out in darkest metal. Niches are carved into the stone to create storage and space for a desk. Furnishings are kept simple – exposed concrete floors are scattered with patterned rugs; the floating, dancing Vertigo pendant lamp one of only a few  decorative elements (I wrote about Vertigo a little while back, here)

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Jaffa House by Pitsou Kedem architects, via  Photography, Amit Geron. 

More wonderful spaces, here.

open and close house.

It begins as a linear box, then, a system of wooden, slatted blinds create a dynamic, evolving facade. The blinds and openings operate separately and so allow for different compositions, sometimes controlled and sometimes random. At any given moment and for whatever reason (privacy, protection from the sun) the facade can change. Thus: ‘we can achieve a composition that is balanced, dynamic, haphazard, closed or open within the same framework’.

Within, the space is simple. White perimeter walls, dividing walls that don’t meet the ceiling, others that shoot past. Linear slots in the ceiling contain the lighting. A poured concrete floor provides a seamless transition throughout. The stair comprises timber treads cantilevered off a concrete wall, with formwork bolt holes forming the decorative element on the surface of the concrete in a controlled pattern. The balustrade comprises sheets of iron-free glass (so are transparent, not green in colour) which are without frames or evident fixings.

The furniture is classic and simple – Eames DSR chairs, a Barcelona coffee table, a parasol-like pendant over the solid wood dining table (I’m not familiar with this particular pendant, but it’s rather lovely).

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The wood slats are continued inside, which together with the external slatted blinds, cast wonderful lines of sharp, playful light.

Kfar Shmaryahu House in Israel by Pitsou Kedem Architects via 

More wonderful spaces, here