Landscape House / Ruth Packer Rona Levin Architects
Text description provided by the architects. The house sits on a unique lot in the center of Israel. It is 1,946 sqm in size lot and looks up to a wide-open view of shallow hills and agriculture fields. This rare situation and nature in the hurt of Israel gave us the main inspiration for creating this house. It is a one-floor house for a family of 4. Reaching the house from the street gives the visitors and family members a glimpse of the view they are about to be exposed to when entering the main entrance hall. It’s a journey one does from the street through a path planted with trees along the way into the entrance outdoor space. Creating a continuous and quiet walk into the house through the enclosed front garden, allowing time to enter and adjust to the peaceful oasis of what is about to come.
The entrance outdoor space is covered by an extended roof creating a patio and a very intimate space at the entrance to the house. Coming into the entrance hall indoor space, the amazing view appears with its all magnificence. Framed by the vast opening and the line of the roof extending to the outdoor east patio. When planting the garden, we took care very carefully to create layers of landscape, close and far, in the lot and out of it, an existing row of cypress at the far view of shallow hills and new planting of trees at the close new garden, giving depth of view from the house.
The entrance hall is a point of junction in an L shape plan house. A junction between the public and parents’ area of the house on the south, and the kids’ bedrooms, family space, and study on the north. From this junction, one can see both views to the east, as well as the focal green view at the far south window of the kitchen and the view to the far window of the study on the north wing. To the right of the entrance hall, is the public space all in one quadrangle shape, covered with a 2-sided slope ceiling made from light oak veneer.
The roof slope continues to the outdoors and creates an outdoor shaded area to the east. Allowing the tenants of the house full use of this outdoor area for dining and resting, protected from the sun and rain for almost every hour of the day. In this main space, the framing of the view is wider. The slope of the grass in the main garden and the pool, which we located at the far end of the lot and on a lower level using the site topography, appears like a lake in nature between the house garden and the far landscape. Both roof design and ground treatment serve our goal to blend the house in the beautiful surroundings he sits in.
From the public space, one reaches the master bedroom. The master bedroom has a one-sided slope ceiling which as well continues to the outdoors and creates a smaller cozy outdoor area. Back to the entrance hall from which we can reach the north wing of the house. The study room can be totally open with a wooden door that is part of the library or closed when one needs more privacy. Along this wing, sit the children’s bedrooms and the family room. The family room sits on both the north outdoor path and the main outdoor public space on the south. In that way, all public areas of the house, living, dining, kitchen on one side, and family room on the other are connected by this long outdoor shaded public area. The north wing leads out to the pool house that is detached from the main one and faces the pool.
A linear outline look of the façade is created by the straight metal line of the long roof edge and the long base of the stone floor that floats 15 cm above ground level. The floor continues smoothly from in to out, and the roof’s lower level that goes down to 280 cm creates a cozy feeling and proportions of space on a human scale.
Materials – The house is a combination of 3 main materials:
1. Stone -the same one for walls and floors in different kinds of finish.
The wall pattern was designed as part of the façade composition and rhythm.
2. Aluminum for the roof, windows, outdoor electrical aluminum brise soleil element that are shading the inner spaces and gives a private buffer to all bedrooms and bathrooms as well as creating a game of light and shadow.
3. Light oak veneer for indoor ceilings, air conditioning grills, doors, libraries, and partitions.
All materials in and out blend into a harmonic and cozy feeling.
The roof of the house- This roof is both a functional and aesthetic element of the house. Taking into consideration the need to create a vast shading area to the east, south, and west allowing the tenants of the house a full use of the outdoor space along the days and along all seasons of the year, a protection from the hot Israeli sun. With this roof projection of 3 meters out from the inner walls, we achieved both shading outdoor areas as well as cooling the inner spaces. It is a very shallow slope metal roof from the outside and a light oak veneer from the inside that was inspired by the shallow hills the house faces.
The folding roof outside and inside plus creating 3 patios in it, allowed us to plant trees inside, creating the feeling that the house is another hill in nature. From inside, the light oak veneer folded like origami out to the hill shallow line in the far landscape. A 10 mm metal sheet in an angle finishes the frame of the patio, achieving a slim sculptured edge that takes the water out from the roof to the garden below and creates an endless view of the sky and to the treetops. The trees in front, inside the patios, and at the back of this folded aluminum roof, blend it and the whole house in its environment.
The house is an echo of the nature it faces!!