The owners of this 70 square meter apartment wanted to treat themselves to modern living space as a haven in the historic Neve Tzedek district of Tel Aviv. You hired the architect Raz Melamed for the project, who opted for floor-to-ceiling glass doors for the interior. Melamed already had experience renovating and modernizing historic buildings in the neighboring ancient city of Jaffa, but the Neve Tzedek project presented a whole new set of challenges. However, the architect managed it within a few months of hard work alongside creative engineer Buki Snir and the Contractor Elad Cohen to uncover the property’s hidden potential and give it new life.
Use floor-to-ceiling glass doors in an open floor plan
The property, which had been closed and run down for years, consisted of a patchwork of huts that were joined together to form a dark and incoherent labyrinth with a hidden patio. A beveled wall cut off the entire space. Melamed created three alternative plans for the interior. The first project tried to create the illusion of an open rectangular space while hiding the beveled wall.
The second worked the beveled wall into the floor plan and the third relied heavily on it. The architects opted for the first plan, with the horizontal and vertical axes (Cardo and Decumanus) dampened, and the interior space divided into four rectangular areas. This consisted of a sleeping area, living room, kitchen and terrace. Melamed combined floor-to-ceiling glass doors with the inner courtyard on two fronts. Belgian-style revolving doors between the bedroom and kitchen areas made it possible to center the property around the well-lit back yard while protecting it from outside views for added privacy.
Create a minimalist room configuration through floor-to-ceiling glass doors
Melamed chose wooden shutters, which are typical of the neighborhood, and left the interior open so that air flow and a clear view between all rooms in the interior was possible. In order to maintain the open space in the interior, the bathroom was hidden behind a door in the kitchen. With this, Melamed managed to create a sense of an urban, secluded villa built around a private courtyard, in a small one-bedroom apartment. Before he could turn his big plans into reality, however, Melamed had a few more challenges to overcome.
After years of neglect, the asset first had to be thoroughly cleaned. Then the infrastructure as well as the rotten beams that supported the roof were replaced. The building on the street has suffered from repeated flooding in the past. The affected walls were repaired and the entire property was sealed to prevent repeated water damage. This was done without changing the exterior facades or the building height, as required by the conservation authorities.
In keeping with the neighborhood’s DNA, two steel rails were chosen to support and reinforce the outer wall in the courtyard. For the interior and to create a clean, but cozy, modern space, Melamed opted for floor-to-ceiling glass doors, a gray color palette, as well as natural materials and exposed raw materials. Polished concrete floors were laid both inside and in the courtyard.
Practical interior design
Gray tiles were chosen for the bathroom, and the woodwork in the kitchen and bedroom was also painted gray. The kitchen island was colored black to create a focal point in the room and to match the black granite countertop that was chosen above it. The Belgian-style ironwork that was built into the rotating partitions, patio doors and windows was coated with carbon black.
Wooden furniture and green areas on the terrace completed the picture and finally gave the owners a harmonious short break in the heart of the city. The Belgian-style ironwork that was built into the revolving partitions, patio doors and windows was coated with carbon black. Wooden furniture and green areas on the terrace completed the picture and finally gave the owners a harmonious short break in the heart of the city.
The Belgian-style ironwork that was built into the revolving partitions, patio doors and windows was coated with carbon black. Wooden furniture and green areas on the terrace completed the picture and finally gave the owners a harmonious refuge in the heart of the city.