Pitsou Kedem's skilful renovation of the Jaffa Apartment in Israel

Contemporary minimalism and historical asceticism in the urban loft

by Malcolm Clark
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Young architect Pitsou Kedem has skilfully renovated a historical residence (Jaffa Apartment) in old Jaffa, an ancient harbour town just a few miles south of Tel Aviv. Its unique position dominates the port and all its openings face the majestic splendour of the Mediterranean Sea.

Over the years the building has undergone a series of changes which have damaged the original quality of the spaces. The main idea was that of restoring the original structure and features: the stone walls, the vaults and the arches and to highlight the original materials, a combination of pottery and sand.

The building has been 'purified' from all the foreign elements, by undergoing a peeling process to bring to light its original state which has a lot to do with the modern and minimalist style.

The idea was to blend the old and the new, maintaining the quality of both and to create new spaces where styles blended and were intensified by the mutual contrast and the 'tension' between the different periods.

The historical nature is expressed by protecting the textures and the materials of the external shell, the modern by opening the spaces and altering the internal flows which become more open and free.

The result is the creation of an urban loft in which, in spite of the dichotomy of historical periods, there is a surprisingly balanced and harmonious atmosphere.

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    Jaffa Apartment 324

    Jaffa Apartment

    Old Jaffa / Israel / 2011