Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects


Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

Tel Aviv architect Ron Fleisher has designed a house in an Israeli-Arab village that combines traditional Palestinian and Islamic architecture with modernism.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

The facade features Arabic mashrabiya lattice screens and vents at the top of the house allow breezes to circulate.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

The house is entered through a double-height vaulted entrance hall, based on a traditional liwan, around which the private areas of the house are arranged.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

The Agbaria House is located on a steep hillside in the village of Musmus in the Haifa district of Israel.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

More projects in Israel on Dezeen »

Photography is by Shai Epstein.

Here are some more details from Fleisher:

Agbaria House

In a region where cultures usually clash, the house over the "wadi"(valley) in the village Musmus is a multicultural experience.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

A cooperation between clients that asked for a contemporary architecture, but didn't want to forget the memory of the village they grew up in, and an architectural firm based in Tel Aviv created a reinterpretation of Palestinian architecture.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

The plan combines between traditional spaces, as the "liwan"- the entrance hall, and contemporary needs, as a TV room, and a formal dinning area.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

It reflects the will to keep an independent Palestinian identity within the Israeli society.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

The house is located on the top of a hillside overlooking "wadi ara". The main entrance to the property is more than 17 meters down the slope.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

Between the gate and main house a driveway curves in a reconstructed agricultural landscape.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

The slope was divided with traditional terraces made from local stone collected in the families olive grove.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

The driveway surrounds the white barn, a staircase climbs to the top of the building to a wide balcony viewing the valley and welcoming the vistor into the private living area.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

Click above for larger image

The house is in a dialogue with the natural landscape using classical Muslim elements as well as contemporary technology.

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

Click above for larger image

The entrance glass wall facing south is shaded with an interpretation of a "Mashrabiya".

Agbaria House by Ron Fleisher Architects

Click above for larger image

The "liwan" is ventilated with passive suction through shutters located on top of 3 vaults 8 meters high. The hot air is sucked out and replaced by a cool breeze. The main drawing room and the formal dining room open to a walled garden, colorfully framed by the white volumes.

Landscape design is by Kfir Fisher.

  • Nice space with calm feature. <3 Love it!

  • Karen

    Nice, but shame there is actually no such thing as 'traditional Palestinian architecture'. I'm afraid it's Islamic, not Palestinian per se. You were more correct in describing any of these elements as 'classical Muslim'.
    (I'm not against trying to describe an independent Palestinian identity through architecture, but really a little reading and knowledge of architecture in the middle east would have helped you write this!)

    • Tarik Swindle

      There is absolutely such a thing as Palestinian architecture. Architecture which is created through centuries of understanding and adapting to the local Palestinian tradition, location, and climate. Also, although Palestine (pre-occupation) was predominantly Muslim, it does also have a large Christian population. Therefore, a little reading and knowledge of architecture in the Middle East would have helped you understand that there is such a thing as 'traditional Palestinian architecture'.

    • Amr

      EXCUSE ME?! Local architects and historians make distinction between two kinds of Palestinian houses: the RURAL traditional Palestinian house and the URBAN traditional Palestinian house. Both have one common dinomentator and that is the different levels between the "Ataba" and "Ka-el-Biet". The Ataba is the first place you enter when you walk into the house (normally used for taking off your shoes, or as dwelling for the chikens and sheep, or, in case of the URBAN house, as the the servant's area). "Ka-el-Biet" is part living room part bedroom space.

      There are countless versions of this schematic role. sometimes 1 Ataba has 3 Ka-el-Biets. Sometime there's vaulting over the spaces. Sometimes two untis (each containg the level seperation mentioned above) share an outdoor roofed space, or the "Liwan", a space you dwadle on before entering the hosue.
      In the country side in what is called today "Israel", you see more of the Palestinian RURAL hosues, and in cities like Ramla, Haifa, Jaffa, Acre and Nazareth, you find more of the Plasetinian URBAN houses.

  • Tamara Jacobs

    Very beautiful. Makes me want to go to Israel.

  • alia

    i loved the plan and the facade …



    PALESTINIAN-Arab village that combines traditional Palestinian Islamic architecture with modernism.

    cuz there is nothing called isreali-arab

    or even isreali :D we cant lie to ourselves :D

    even the architectural sense that appears in that house is deeply islamic and palestinian :D no use to provoke ppl guys :D

  • ucegh

    On the other hand, Karen, there should be nothing such as Islamic Architecture or Arts as long as it is not concerning sacral or religious buildings and artifacts… Art has no religion. This is an archaic Orientalist label that should be reconsidered, especially today.

  • alia

    @ ucegh

    somehow u r right but the spirit of some architectural features distinguish the buildings ,, u look at the builing u feel it’s architectural origin .. some like the openings that appear in the facade surface .. it’s so like islamic architecture

    also the concept of the “liwan”
    which is somehow similar to the “iwan” which is an islamic feature first of all…

    so all i wanna say is that when u look at an architectural peice u recognize which school it represents

    anyway i like the plan’s distribution is gives a way of comfort

    also giving attention to landscape areas reminds me with the eco-friendly point of view

    the openings in the facade gives good ventilation and day light ..

  • RMoh

    Gorgeous really i luv islamic architecture .. although not a Palestinian yet agree it's a Palestinian-Arab village

    it will be proved soon .. don't worry you will not wait long

  • rashaL

    Why is there a line over the word ‘Palestenian’??? cant you ppl be a little less biased?? …its a fusion of Islamic and International Architecture…

  • philippe

    I think the house is far from being harmonious/fusional! Not that modern can't be inspired by traditional or borrow traditional element of Islamic Architecture.
    I think the house is very disappointing as soon as the door opens and you are faced with an incoherent space! The staircase instead of being light and welcoming is in fact a mass of white plaster, the kitchen seen beyond doesn't seem to match the palette of colors and materials. The glass railing on the stair is also out of place… However I wish there was an image of the dining space, this might be one of the most successful areas of the house….

    Nice detail on the arches! and beautiful lattice work/ musharrabiyya…

    The house is probably and embodiment of its environment… showing how society in israel is tense and angry… or maybe a work in progress towards a unified society… but unfortunately the house, just like its environment is far from being complete

  • Islamic… Palestinian… all I know it's a pretty house :3

  • SarahS.

    Why is the word Palestinian marked off with a line??! I don't get it. I guess we need an explanation for this Dezeen..?

  • Bassel

    “It reflects the will to keep an independent Palestinian identity within the Israeli society “.

    There is no such thing as Israeli society, but a collective of settlers of various origins each identifies with culture of the country of which it came from. Nonetheless the Palestinians are indigenous to this land (historical Palestine). That’s why an “Islamic” house seem to blend well with the environment.

    Just a fact I felt necessary to set straight. I won’t be surprised if Dezeen doesn’t publish this comment. Peace be upon who ever censors comments ;)

    • amsam

      Bassel, Dezeen would have been correct to not publish your comment. I have no stake in the Israel/Palestine conflict, but this is a design blog. "There is no such thing as Israeli society" is an assertion, not a "fact"– and much more importantly, it's an assertion that's part of a debate that has no place here.

  • laila

    Why erased the word Palestinians????
    You are very racist,
    hiding the facts without any right
    Why do not you say the truth,is it not enough to steal the Palestinian heritage and monuments?? you also want to confess that?
    The lack of credibility is one of the downsides of Dezeen magazine

  • xyz

    wouldn't it be considered 'Levantine Moderne'?

  • Aaron

    The post originally said ‘Palestinian Islamic architecture’. After feedback (which you can read above) Dezeen realised their mistake and deleted Palestinian. The reason it is ruled out rather than just erased is so that you can see they made an error and corrected it, rather than them just pretending this was their original text. They’re trying to be transparent.

    This would be apparent if you read through the other posts before posting yourself.

  • Bassel

    Amsam, I don’t know where on earth is it written that design cannot be political. It’s quite the other way around. I callenge you to come up with a single example of great architecture through history that was not politically or ideoligicaly driven.

    That said, this is an open platform and all statements published in articles can be a subject to debate, may it be “factual” or “assertive”!

    • amsam

      Agreed, but your opinion that there's no such thing as Israeli society sheds no light on our interpretation of the design of this building. Or if it does, you didn't bother to mention how in your post. Just admit it, you used this platform to advance an argument about a political cause you feel strongly about. Your post wasn't about the design of the house at all.

      • BCell

        I addressed the description of the context mentioned in this article. Context is very sensitive issue especially in this part of the world. If we disagree about the context, then we cannot discuss any following architectural processes regarding the design. That's my last post on this thread.

        • amsam

          With respect, in this world, if we can not discuss "architectural processes regarding the design" even when we "disagree about the context," we are sunk.

  • krimane

    The most seductive architecture has got to be islamic one must confess.
    a sort of details that complement the exterior in such a gentle way.

    it is also proven to be extremely versatile since it can adapt to contemporary layouts.

    simply gorgeous

  • Planlord

    Jews or Muslims y'all just brothers and sistas.
    We should celebrate all types of architecture and cultures. No need to get all territorial.

    Now I on the other hand am neither. Just call me the landloard. If you get what I mean…

  • iab

    Very Orientalistic. An Israeli representation of Palestinian architecture. what result could arise?

    • Moshe

      Please don't over abuse the term. Are you seriously accusing the Arab client of having romantic oriental aspirations? or maybe you think the Jewish architect forced a 'native like' style on his client ?
      not everything has to be Said, it's getting a bit tiring

  • anat

    did someone mention the poor situation of the arabs in israel? a house like this in israel costs at least 5 millions shekels!
    the jews were in israel, writing the bibble, when you people in europe were still living in hutsand caves!

  • exrael

    this is international style with islamic motifs.