The house stands on the lot where my grandparents had their house before. They moved to Israel from Germany in 1935 and were among the founders of the village of Yedidia. The village is located in Emek Chefer, an agricultural region 25 miles north of Tel Aviv. The lot of the house is one of several small lots which were designated for houses for the founders of the village once they retire. It is now my parents’ house.
From the beginning of the process, it was the trapezoid shape of the lot that dictated for us the shape of the house. My parents’ particular requirements were a single level house, a study for my father where he spends most of his days, and a multifunctional space that can serve as a bedroom for extended family members to spend the night.
The first designs included an interior courtyard separating the public and private spaces. As the process progressed, the limitation of space and program gradually transformed the interior garden into a large skylight lighting the center of the house with soft indirect light throughout the day.
The main living space and study face the street and open through three large openings onto a long covered terrace which runs the whole length of the house. The bedroom and multifunctional space face the back yard which is supported by a retaining wall and elevated 6 feet above the neighboring house, thus allowing the morning sun to fill the house with light. A set of full height, dark grey opaque glass doors were installed as dividers between the main living space and the multifunctional space. A second operable skylight was constructed on top of the master bathroom, the only room in the house without an exterior window.
During late phases of construction, a glass door and window were installed in the small structure originally designed as a garage, creating an additional, separate studio for future use. Careful planting, which corresponds to the three large opening in the front, provides protection from the street and makes the long terrace a desirable outdoor room and an extension of the interior of the house.