Israeli architect Pitsou Kedem has exposed vaulted ceilings and stone walls inside this renovated house in the ancient port of Jaffa, Tel Aviv (+ slideshow).
Pitsou Kedem restored the historical building, estimated to be hundreds of years old, by stripping back the interior to reveal walls of broken clay and shells, vaulted ceilings and large internal archways.
Small pockets are hollowed from the walls at various heights and are used to create storage areas and a desk.
"The central idea was to combine the old and 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," said the studio.
A set of three pivoting glass doors frame the downstairs bedroom, while a new kitchen extension on the west side of the house features a long window with views over the Mediterranean ocean.
Tall windows also lead out from the living room next door to a small wooden balcony.
An iron staircase is set into the exposed concrete wall of the living room and is screened by a double-height balustrade of suspended wire cables. It ascends to a master bedroom on the mezzanine floor above.
Exposed concrete flooring throughout the house is covered with a mixture of patterned and textured rugs.
"The project succeeds in both honouring and preserving the historical and almost romantic values of the structure whilst creating a contemporary project, modern and suited to its period," added the designers.
Pitsou Kedem has also recently completed a house with double-height glass doors, a renovated 1950s house with a stone mosaic wall and a family house with timber screens that fold back in different directions.
Photography is by Amit Geron.
Here's a project description from the architects:
Jaffa House: contemporary minimalism and historical asceticism
The language of minimalism imbedded in a historic residence in Old Jaffa. The 180 square meter residential home is located in Old Jaffa. Its location is unique in that it is set above the harbour, facing west with all of its openings facing the majestic splendour 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 home 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 honouring 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.
Design: Pitsou Kedem
Design team: Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed, Irene Goldberg
Project: 180 sqm house in the old city of Jaffa