Historic residence in Old Jaffa

Historic residence in Old Jaffa

Architect
Pitsou Kedem Architects
Location
Tel Aviv, Israel
Project Year
2011
Category
Housing

Contemporary minimalism and historical asceticism

Pitsou Kedem Architects as Architects

The language of minimalism imbedded in a historic residence in Old Jaffa The 100 square meter residential home is located in Old Jaffa. Its location is unique in that it is set above the harbor, facing west with all of its openings facing the majestic splendor of the Mediterranean Sea. Whilst it is difficult to determine the buildings exact age, it is clear that it is hundreds of years old. Over the years, it has undergone many changes and had many additions made that have damaged the original quality of the building and its spaces. The central idea was to restore the structure's original, characteristics, the stone walls, the segmented ceilings and the arches including the exposure of the original materials (a combination of pottery and beach sand). The building has been cleaned of all of the extraneous elements, from newer wall coverings and has undergone a peeling process to expose its original state. Surprisingly, modern, minimalistic construction styles remind us of and correspond with the ascetic style of the past, and this despite the vast time difference between them. The central idea was to combine the old and the new whilst maintaining the qualities of each and to create new spaces that blend the styles together even intensify them because of the contrast and tension between the different periods. The historical is expressed by preserving the textures and materials of the buildings outer shell and by respecting the building engineering accord. The modern is expressed by the opening of spaces and by altering the internal flow to one more open and free and the creation of an urban loft environment along with the use of stainless steel, iron and Korean in the various partitions, in the openings and in the furniture. The project succeeds in both honoring and preserving the historical and almost romantic values of the structure whilst creating a contemporary project, modern and suited to its period. Despite the time differences, the tensions and the dichotomy between the periods exist in a surprisingly balanced and harmonic space.

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