Originally built in Tel-Aviv’s oldest neighbourhood, Neve Tzedek, this project on Shmerling Street pairs its 19th-century origins with timeless modern twists. As a gazetted, building within the Tel Aviv municipality preservation plan, it warranted a restoration to its original state.
Succumbing to decades of neglect and dereliction, the residence presented Muhlbauer Architects with several challenges. Among the biggest challenges, the original façade was partially destroyed and void of any architectural documentation to aid in its restoration. What resulted was a piecemeal process of assembling various historical documents, including an original painting by the famous Israeli painter Nachum Gutman, to bring restoration to fruition. Additional aspects of the preservation process consisted of exposing and reinforcing an original wall made of native Kurkar stone, restoring welding details, and installing new wooden windows.
The original plaster hue was recreated in accordance with old paintings of the house and its surroundings. As a result of strict guidelines that came with preserving the façade, interior programming had to be adjusted. What resulted was an irregular relationship between the apartments to the exterior balconies, resulting in uneven levels that provided raised platforms within the living units. Semi-private assembly spaces were introduced as an anchor between the exterior balconies and the interior living spaces.
Within the five dwelling units (two ground duplexes, two first story apartments, and one penthouse) the interior was transformed with modern attributes and a natural color palette. Painted cement tiles were paired with bright wooden flooring; a gray Bulthaup kitchen with stainless steel countertop was juxtaposed with handmade furniture made by a local design studio Nachshon.
Architects: Muhlbauer Architects
Year of completion: 2018
Photographs: Shai Epstein
Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Bulthaup, Ez Ve Eza, HeziBank, NACHSHON, Shahaf Carpentry – David Haziza, Studio Rotem, ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Trimble Navigation
Architect-in-charge: Roni Sender Israeli
Design team: Orit Muhlbauer-Eyal, Roni Sender Israeli, Tal Fuerst
Documentation: Arch. Adi Kitov
Engineering: Doron Tweg
Landscape: Rotem Landscape Design
Contractor: Emad Agbaria
City: Tel Aviv-Yafo
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