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Urban Oasis: A Stone Orchard House in Tel Aviv, Redone by Two Architects

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Urban Oasis: A Stone Orchard House in Tel Aviv, Redone by Two Architects

October 21, 2019

We’ve been admirers of Israeli-born architects Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger of BoND ever since we featured one of their quietly ingenious projects—a streamlined Manhattan flat, packed with hidden storage—on The Organized Home. Recently, browsing through their site, we stumbled on Villa Salame, a little stone house in Tel Aviv redone by Dvir in collaboration with Jonathan Canetti of Jonathan Canetti Architecture & Design, and fell for the house’s sunny simplicity.

Built in the 1850s and located in the southern part of the city, the house was originally constructed for an orchard owner. In the many years since, the city grew up around it until the house was surrounded by small, crowded streets and, later, fell into abandonment. In renovating it for a young Danish couple, Dvir and Canetti were careful to preserve the house’s original elements, creating a bright “Mediterranean oasis,” evocative of when it must’ve been surrounded by orchards, now right in the middle of the city.

Take a look:

Photography by Boaz Lavie, courtesy of Jonathan Canetti Architecture & Design.

The house is petite—only 00 square feet—and square-shaped, with one corner cut off, all surrounding the original courtyard filled with fig trees and cyclamens, the architects say.
Above: The house is petite—only 1400 square feet—and square-shaped, with one corner cut off, all surrounding the original courtyard filled with fig trees and cyclamens, the architects say.

The architects designed around one striking feature: an original limestone wall that stretches all along one side of the house. Over time, it had been covered with plaster, which the architects stripped back to reveal the original stone and archways, fully intact.

Twin archways lined with original stone lead into the simple white kitchen.
Above: Twin archways lined with original stone lead into the simple white kitchen.
The living area has concrete tile floors and high ceilings with exposed beams. A well-placed mirror reflects light from outside.
Above: The living area has concrete tile floors and high ceilings with exposed beams. A well-placed mirror reflects light from outside.
A red standing lamp adds an unexpected jolt of color to the otherwise-neutral sitting area. The lighting throughout is from Israeli company Dori Kimhi.
Above: A red standing lamp adds an unexpected jolt of color to the otherwise-neutral sitting area. The lighting throughout is from Israeli company Dori Kimhi.
To contrast with the original limestone wall and maintain a feeling of openness, Dvir and Canetti added walls and doors made of glass and steel, like these in the guest bedroom.
Above: To contrast with the original limestone wall and maintain a feeling of openness, Dvir and Canetti added walls and doors made of glass and steel, like these in the guest bedroom.
The master bath is fitted with painted tiles from Gluska and a steel-frame door.
Above: The master bath is fitted with painted tiles from Gluska and a steel-frame door.
The guest bathroom was gutted and re-built with a bare concrete ceiling and bath. A rustic table from Primitive and Design serves as a vanity.
Above: The guest bathroom was gutted and re-built with a bare concrete ceiling and bath. A rustic table from Primitive and Design serves as a vanity.
Another glass and steel wall makes the interiors feel like an extension of the courtyard..
Above: Another glass and steel wall makes the interiors feel like an extension of the courtyard..
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Above: “The heart of the house is nevertheless the courtyard, a tranquil green oasis with waffle-pattern flooring, a water feature, and a flowering garden with cyclamens and fig trees,” the architects say on their site. There’s also an outdoor shower for post-beach rinse-offs.
The exterior of the little house, situated on a small lane.
Above: The exterior of the little house, situated on a small lane.

More small stone houses around the world:

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