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SKS (2009)

The ridged cube house is located in suburban Tel Aviv, an area characterized by stringent building regulations and plots of up to half an acre. The site has a unique trapezoid shape which is bordered by one house at its eastern corner and by the street at its southern and widest corner, while the rest of its boundaries face a grove of pine trees. Regulations mandated that the house be set back from the street, meaning that the wider part of the garden would be in proximity to the street and the narrower part of the garden would face the pine grove. The decision was to fit the largest cube possible within the confines of the site, thus the general scheme is made of two components: a public area that includes the formal living room and dining area facing a green sitting area located in the wider front part of the site; and a private area which includes an intimate family room, a study and kitchen. These enjoy the narrower back part of the garden, with a view to the swimming pool and grove.

The public and private components are dissected by a wide corridor between them which acts as the main circulation artery of the house and includes the main double spaced entrance at one end and the vertical circulation at the other. The same scheme repeats itself on the rest of the floors. The first floor is where all the bedrooms are located, and in the plan of the basement the main circulation artery leads visitors either to the client’s painting studio or to the home entertainment space. The client is an artist with great interest in textiles and textures, thus the material qualities of the design are comprised of three elements: stone, wood and concrete. The stone cladding uses the product of a local quarry which striates the stone with a set of discs, creating a very subtle texture and quality to the stone, resembling the fabric of corduroy. This element repeats itself in the interior as well, in the wall facing the main entrance corridor. This wall is cladded with the same stone as the exterior and is bound by the main staircase. The banister of the stairs is made of 10 mm diameter metal cords which run 12 meters from the first floor ceiling to the basement. This decision was made in order to create an ephemeral and immaterial railing in response to the powerful texture of the stone wall. Another texturing device is wood. Used as the material for the shading canopy, the outdoor decks and the front door of the house. Acting as reference to the horizontal striated pattern of the stone, the wooden elements create intricate grids of teak and shadows. Concrete serves as a framing device. The outer fence is an in-situ concrete wall which frames the site. The windows are framed with pre-cast elements, the largest spanning almost thirteen meters.

Photography: Amit Geron