Through their furnishings, colors, materials, and style, homes by nature reflect the personality of their owners. And this takes on a deeper meaning when the owner is also the architect who designed the home, its interiors, and its custom-made furniture. Architect Oshir Asaban, founder of the studio of the same name, has done just this with his penthouse apartment in a Tel Aviv skyscraper. His approach was partly conservative, retaining what was basically an open space with very few partitions, but opening it up with large windows to maximize daylight in every room. The palette involves light tones alternating with bold ones, while natural materials act as a neutral backdrop to the furniture. Brass and dark details in the flooring create a pleasant, peaceful atmosphere. Some large artworks and a variety of fabrics add splashes of color throughout.
Asaban took his inspiration for the décor from the mid-20th century. The home is full of elements that create a contemporary look with a strong personality, including custom-designed furniture and furnishing accessories with elegant shapes and colors.
And the architect designed most of the furniture himself, including the dining table, desk, bookcase, sofas, chandeliers, and even the tapware. “As an architect, when you design a home for yourself, you want it to represent you with all the architectural elements you like,” says Asaban. “You want it to be a kind of showroom that you can bring your clients to.”
Attention to detail and the use of contrasts are what distinguish this project. A good example is the use of large floor tiles with light tones in the living area and timber floors in the bedrooms. The two zones are then divided materially and chromatically by a large slab of green Guatemalan stone and dark iron wall paneling that extends to the ceiling, emphasizing the social and more intimate roles of the two parts of the home. The main bedroom has herringbone parquet, with timber edging that runs parallel to the walls, underscored by a brass strip set into the floor. Other elements, such as the kitchen island and the bathroom furniture, use American walnut.
The cornerstone of this project is the flexibility of the rooms and the sightlines between them. The architect avoided closed spaces to ensure visual contact between one room and another, including when its occupants are carrying out various tasks about the home. Doors have therefore been done away with in preference for large sliding partitions, which can be used to create closed areas when needed. The office is a good example, which is open to the living area but can be closed off by a full-height sliding partition to transform it into a guest room.
Like a photographer, Asaban designed the home as if he were framing it as a single image. From any point in the apartment, the view outside is onto one or the other of two large terraces. Plants can be seen from any corner of the home, creating feelings of both privacy and being in nature.
“We wanted to create the feeling of a private home with a real garden - explains the architect -. This is a place where you can forget you’re in a tower in the middle of an urban area. The main terrace is divided into three parts. On the sides are two large planters, with plants, stepping stones, and garden furniture. In the center is a round table that’s lower than usual to create a less formal atmosphere. All along the terrace are high planters that can accommodate larger trees.”
Located off the living room, this outdoor space is paved with green and white tiles to create the feeling of a sunny Spanish balcony. It’s further enriched by fabrics in bright shades of green and orange. To the side and facing the living room, the clear glass side of the pool adds a splash of blue to the palette.
Location: Tel-Aviv, Israele
Interior architects and Design: Studio Oshir Asaban
Photography by Sivan Askayo, courtesy of Oshir Asaban