9/26/2012

House K; Israel


In a rural setting in the center of Israel, sits a ultra modern precast concrete residence designed by Auerbach-Halevy.  The home is very much unlike any traditional structure in Israel's countryside, which makes it easy to be mistaken for something else.  The structure is made of concrete block standing 9 meters tall without visible openings from the front and sides.  The north elevation facing the street and both sides facades seem completely opaque and yet they are not alienated to their environment.  The entire structure is covered with a uniform system of prefabricated exposed concrete panels, which are integrated with heavy wood Latticework (A reminder to the traditional oriental element) the eastern trellis ("mashrabia").  The combination of material and distribution throughout adds warmth, easing the rigid system.



The pre-cast concrete panels find their way in the interior space, governing the rhythm and acoustics of the spaces they inhabit.  The layout of the interior blocks mirrors the exterior, giving the illusion that the entire structure is made of pre-cast forms.  The layout of the forms also serve as a guide for furniture layout and decorative objects.  This idea translates further to the fine details including the design of the book shelves.




Combining the exposed concrete elements with the wooden trellis work, creates a unified and coherent language, producing complexity in an otherwise simple structure.  This combination of elements transcends beyond the contrasting and complementary nature of the materials, resolving the symbolic collision produced by the components, and therefore creating a unity between traditional Arab style and modernist Architecture.