Garden Duplex in the heart of Tel Aviv

When David, a new immigrant to Israel, showed me this beautiful apartment in the heart of Tel Aviv, I instantly knew this would become a fascinating project. The property is a 150 square meter duplex with an 80 square meter garden, in a building located on Gordon St. in the heart of Tel Aviv, by the seaside. For the client, this house very much embodied the promise of a new beginning in a far-off land. The vision was therefore to create a home which would be a pleasant day to day dwelling for a single person. This was done with accurate planning of intimate spaces, a choice of warm materials and a sound system which would disperse music throughout the house. 

The client wished to express his various hobbies within the house design. These included professional photography, a cocktail bar in the center of the living room, a customized Argentinian barbecue in the garden and a large internal and external entertaining area for parties, wine tastings and weekend barbecues. These many hobbies required, first and foremost, accurately planned storage spaces. Much of the photography equipment is kept in niche closets in the same color as the walls, while the living room cocktail bar contains different size glass as well as specialty alcohol bottles collected in his many travels all over the world. The wine bottles are stored in a designated storage area which functions as a private wine cellar.

In terms of design style, the main theme was to be a warm environment with a clean design, which would complement the state-of-the-art technical equipment in the house. This equipment included, among other things, a smart electricity meter, a high-quality sound system, cameras, a bio metric fingerprint door lock and more.

Upon entering the home, the front door faces a “Mashrabiya” wall element, in front of which stands a console in order to place items such as a briefcase, mail, and car keys. The guest bathroom is covered in wallpaper with a world map-themed wallpaper, inspired by the client’s love of travel and photography.

The kitchen is closed off and separated from the common area. Though most people prefer a trendy open kitchen, the choice of a separate kitchen does have several advantages. If hosting a large party, guests are not exposed to the “behind the scenes” mess. In addition, with this sort of space planning, food is not located at the heart of the house, and those residing in the house do not wander into the kitchen, instead making a more conscious choice to go there only when they are truly hungry.

The dining area is encompassed by windows with garden views. It is located in proximity to the kitchen and across from the Argentinian barbeque construction, a sort of external kitchen which is also often utilized. The television and entertainment area also face the garden. The main wall has been transformed into a cocktail bar, with custom made carpentry.

In designing the garden, the relatively large entertaining area potential was considered. We decided on IPE wood decking encompassed by tall vegetation, which envelopes the house while remaining visible from every window, including the first floor. The steps are illuminated with recessed lighting on the lower threshold of each step. This creates a pleasant illumination effect which invites one to continue climbing up the steps and discover the rest of the house. The top floor serves as the private sphere of the house. All of the bedrooms face the garden and there is a small balcony with a lush garden view, creating the feeling of a country house in the heart of the city.