Studio ETN
Tel Aviv, Israel | View Map
Project Year
Gidon Levin


Studio ETN as Architects

The project is called AX3, just like every project we do it has its own branded name.


We were asked to design a 90m2 apartment, that was originally designed in a way that didn’t accommodate the clients’ needs. The renovation was total and massive. Following the traditional Jaffa design, the space came with high ceilings and wooden blinds which were already full of local character. We wanted to create a mesmerizing dissonance between the interior and exterior of the space. The apartment is a very large open materialistic space that is accompanied by vigorous Jaffa character. The central program of the project began from the tenants’ desire to turn the apartment into an inviting well-lit space that will have a very “homey” feeling.


The idea behind the plan was to find a balance between natural light and artificial light using different lighting scenarios after sunset. Balancing up to date materials with traditional ones in order to form a harmonious, timeless combination between them.  Finding a balance between the ceiling and floor. Creating the balance was essentially the concept.


About the surrounding buildings, about the neighborhood Central Jaffa, the neighborhood is situated on a main road. The building facades are storefronts in a very urban environment. Some of the buildings are beautiful, new, and conserved in that past few years. That was the case of this building which was one of the first buildings to be conserved on the street. The apartment’s balcony shares a border with a huge abandoned building that stretches over one block. The building was once a military which gives the apartment part of its magic. The unattended hostile exterior which houses mostly birds, broken windows and neglected furniture, mirrors the materialistic, well-lit apartment right next door.


About the couple living in the apartment

The clients are a couple. One of them is a chef that reflects his talent by hosting in the most noble manner. The other is a strategic consultant in the IT project field. They have the most remarkable daughter.


About the idea behind the project

we’ll share project details in a few sentences: we demolished the existing walls between the main space and the bedrooms. Instead, we created dividers using glass and thin Belgium profiles in order to flood the space with natural light. We demolished all of the wet areas of the apartment including the technical gallery, which we later reinstated in order to open up a large kitchen that will compliment the tenants’ needs. We examined the idea of a technical gallery for the household systems such as a water heater, AC, and electrical systems. The gallery space is also used for storage which is reached by a ladder through the bathroom ceiling (!)


The chosen material palette is very national, down to earth, very Israeli. The materials take into consideration the loft’s Jaffan uniqueness and what it had to offer even before we intervened.


We added more local materials such as iron and terrazzo which was applied in a modern context in order to add elements from the leisure and fashion worlds. We complimented these materials by pairing them with a neutral touch of color that wasn’t too bold. Artwork was also added to match the pace and character of the space.


Essentially, one large open space was created which has a bedroom and a workspace\ closet space that is open to the main area using the glass dividers.

This openness makes the living space half public and part of a shared kitchen open to a generous living space. The living space has a balcony overlooking an abandoned building. And, although is it abandoned is comes with a bright and promising future.


We decided that the daughter’s room would be separated from the rest of the space, and that apart from the rest of the rooms, would not be open to the main space. We wanted her to have a space that fits her age by choosing the right materials and shades for her, but also by giving her more privacy.


The lighting concept was chosen very thoughtfully and was designed specifically for this apartment. The concept was built around a number of scenarios- daytime, evening, and night that could change throughout the hours of the day by choosing the different light circuits.


Although the apartment is very open, the use of different materials for the floor and the axis defines each area in more ways than one. This can be seen on the layout and when walking in the apartment. The idea was to create room for simultaneous day to day activities to take place without interrupting one another, by having very wide passageways.


This project is very close to the studio’s heart, being that there are small magical gems hidden throughout it giving it the touch of humor that strings it together to other projects designed by us. Skulls, walls that were designed to become storage, plant furniture (botanic walls), a reading nook in the office space coated with green velvet that is carved out of the massive closet space. We really tried getting inside her head for the nook space and giving our modern interpretation of the ever so romantic concept of a “tree house”.


Material Used :

1. Raw concrete

2. Velvet

3. Raw birch

4. Stainless still

5. Iron

6. Metal

7. Brass

8. Terrazzo

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Felix Meritis Amsterdam
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