The house is situated on a 850 sqm lot, located on the Carmel Mountain in north Israel. It overlooks green grove and the Mediterranean.
The main objective was to merge the unique mountain topography with the construction of the house, combining the interior and exterior, earth and sky.
This objective created a merger between the outer landscape and the interior space. the stepped formation of the structure imitates the sloped mountain terrain and gives a feeling of natural flow and mountain continuation.
The 280 sqm house consists of two, bi level main masses, divided and connected by a main axis hallway path stretching both vertically and horizontally connecting all interior spaces to the mountain and the infinite views.
The axis accompanies home comers from the street to the entrance of the house, while focusing the view on the exposed landscape. The layout creates a continuous passage stretching from the street to the house, a passage which gently penetrates the house and differentiate public functions from private functions.
The masses of the house were created by designing a series of surfaces/ templates that grow from the ground upwards and define the spaces that are trapped between them, by continuing beyond the physical boundaries of the building/structure, blurring the boundaries of the house and integrating the exterior into the interior and vice versa.
The house was designed with the ambition to create structural and design integrity emphasizing a fifth façade - the roof, which is an integral part of the design has been treated like any other exposed part of the house, and has been handled using the same design language.
The home owners are a couple in their 70's and because the landlady is a psychologist, we were asked to integrate a clinic within the house, but separate it so it wouldn’t penetrate the couple's private space.
The street façade is restrained and discreet concealing the house beyond the fence.
After one passes the entrance, the side of the mountain is revealed with rock and vegetation on its slope (vegetation which had been uprooted and restored during the construction period).
The main access to the house was designed as a bridge, a "boulevard" covered with fiber cement boards and enclosed on both sides by vertical panels that allow one "to see and not to be seen". This entrance creates a sense of privacy and secrecy which becomes present the moment one passes the main gate from the street.
The entrance level is a direct continuation of the entrance axis. It is the entrance level where the clinic is situated. Because of the unique entrance, the clinic's patients enjoy a sense of complete privacy while not hindering the privacy of the homeowners.
On the first floor we designed a guest room with a bathroom and a balcony with a full sea view, used as a yoga area for the house occupants.
The descent to the lower level is either by an elevator or stairs accompanied by a large planter that inserts the landscape from the outside into the interior of the house.
The main functions of the house are located on the lower level.
The axis continues from the upper level to the lower level and distinguishes between the open space where the kitchen and the dining area and the private bedroom.
The bedroom has a private balcony, overlooking the pastoral landscape, spacious and comfortable closet area and a luxurious bathroom, utility room and study.
In the wall which bounds the main axis from the private space we integrated a built-in library with openings in the wall. To create additional privacy, we covered the opening with a glazed glass. While homeowners are in the passage to the bedroom, they experience the glass as lighted frames.
In addition to the interior, the exterior public areas were set: from the dining area an exit to a balcony to the outer dining area,
From the seating area to an outdoor conversion area, and from the service room a service balcony.
The carpentry details have been all customized.
The design of the house is characterized by a balance between masses and openings and a meticulous attention to details and materials.
The choice of materials is characterized by an emphasis on septic/natural materials that integrate with the natural landscape.
The entire house was paved with wooden parquet, the balconies decked, the walls of the house in white plaster, and to emphasize the horizontal surfaces we incorporated black profile and wood.
In the external environment, concrete was used, and vegetation was treated as an element that harmoniously participates in the con-texture.
Ariel Isaac Franco Architecture Studio is a boutique architecture and design firm led and owned by Ariel Isaac Franco, and is a part of A. Franco ltd Group which is offering services such as Project design, Project management, Construction, and a full Design-Build solution.
Ariel has got his degree in Architecture at SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) in Los Angeles, CA
The firm currently designs projects and operates both in Israel and in the US, and specializes in high-end private residential houses and small-scale boutique high rises.
We believe in “Form Follow Function” and each and every project is unique, so are the location, the surroundings, and the core natural elements that react to it. Designing based on that methodology, we are doing a lot of experimental work, testing new materials and applications, while pushing the limits of conventional design