The House on Tarsat. The Iceberg
A simple, organic material – a marine-grade, durable bleached birch plywood – was used for all carpentry work.
This continuity of textures takes the bleached material out of context, and the result is an organic, harmonious sensation between the different materials used in the space.
The challenge was to create basic, minimalistic objects, which are also precise and highly functional – beginning with what Talia called
"The Iceberg", and continuing with the kitchen and the decision to create longitudinal handles from the same material, and the almost crude bench and bathroom furniture which seems to blend into the surrounding walls.
The "Iceberg" is a carpentry piece separating the public and private areas of the apartment; on the private side, it is used for storage, with drawers and closets with folding accordion doors, while on the living room/kitchen side it acts as a wall/display and shelving unit with a small bar.
From the entrance, the iceberg looks sharp and thin, and the meeting line between the two shades of flooring continues a diagonal in the living room side.
Living room bench – with a drawer and mattress – is built on a recessed stone platform and extends into a recess
in the wall to support the load.
Kitchen: Fronts from bleached birch plywood with longitudinal handles from same material.
Lower kitchen continues to laundry closet in the utility area.
On the bedroom side, a closet with folding accordion doors and drawers;
the door to the corridor closes into a recess inside the iceberg.
The Apartment on Be'eri. wood, iron, black & white
The Abraham Library | An Iconic Hack
The Abraham Library – A mythologic shelving unit by one of Israel's oldest industrial companies (Ha'argaz) is transformed into a modular furniture
Study – A 3D Mondrian in white and oak, a daybed in a niche with storage drawers
The bathroom furniture was picked up at the flea market, with the interior adjusted to its new function
In the kitchen, a combination of stained oak veneer (matching the floor's color pattern), and an open unit above the sink with a stainless-steel dish rack built into the wood. Kitchen island's fronts spray painted in white with elegant edge pulls, black kitchen fronts, and an identically stained island worktop.
The House on Hisin | A Topography of Wood
For the kitchen, we used a 3-layer loblolly pine wood with integrated handles. An ample pantry hides behind the perforated door.
Children's closet combines open shelves in a frame of gentle maple veneer; doors are spray painted with integrated handles
Maple Veneer was used for parents' master bathroom and guest bathroom furniture
Children's bathroom furniture in veneer and pink, a solid maple shelf
The Apartment on Zamenhof. Timeless.
Kitchen in varnished teak veneer, spray painted in black and white
The AbrahamLibrary | An Iconic Hack
A mythologic shelving unit by one of Israel's oldest industrial companies (Ha'argaz) is transformed into a modular furniture
Children's room gallery in whitewashed birch on a white metal structure
A readymade bathroom cabinet, with slight adjustments for enhanced functionality (we added luxurious, deep Blum drawers with concealed runners) – the furniture's front remained unchanged
A Mondrian of teak veneer and white, elegant edge pulls, kitchen fronts in black, island worktop in identical staining.
The Apartment on Byron Street | A Custom-Made Space
Working very closely with the architectures, Motti and Hadar, we characterized a simple, straightforward detail, designed to maintain continuity between the elements – the frames of the hall's glass panels and rooms' doorframes were made of old-school red plywood stained and varnished, with Formica fronts and recessed handles. We used the same material for the kitchen, bathroom closets and headboard of the parents' bed.
In the kitchen, we created several glass cabinets with an antique detail – sliding glass doors with a recessed handle, and two fixed windows
on the side facing the apartment's front door.
For the kitchen's island, we used a few old wood panels with plenty of personality, and a pair of unbelievable wood sawhorses that the owners had contributed – adding a pull-out Maple wood cutting board, flushed with the worktop, and four drawers with lacquered Maple fronts.
At the center of the panel, there is a tasteful opening for cables to charge mobile devices.
The dining table is also made of massive Maple wood. A table extension connects to the wood plate, as well as to a fixed Maple wood molding in the wall. The legs of the table are made of U-shaped iron frame, painted with a matt finish and a closed bottom.
Bathroom furniture includes a countertop made out of the same stained and varnished red plywood, with a vessel sink.
The girls' wardrobes have brown MDF fronts in clear varnish finish, decorative fluting and recessed handles.
Doors in yellow Formica with varnished beech wood moldings, door and window frames in red plywood with exposed and varnished molding.
Master bathroom sliding door and furniture
Hall – on the right, girls rooms and family space; opposite – entrance to master bedroom; on the left, utility closet, washing machine and dryer, and next, entrance to girls' bathroom.
Floor to ceiling accordion doors with top and bottom runners create a separation between family space and hall.
A Rooftop Apartment on Rabi Tanchum | Israeli Artisan
An integration of custom carpentry with other spheres of local craftsmanship – terrazzo tiles, clay plaster and tadelakt, ceramics, welding etc. The electrical outlets and mezuzas were especially designed and manufactured, to complete the organic feel and earthy/natural corporeality of the curved walls and the spaces they create.
Another layer of authenticity is added by choice of varnished green MDF – this material, usually hidden behind opaque colors, comes here to the front, naturally integrating with the other organic materials (combined with oak in the construction interspersing the rooms' doors).
The challenge posed by non-trivial geometry and unconventional details, such as macrame in the big glass doors, forced us out of our comfort zones to a realm closer to that of watercraft…
When I joined the project, the site was already in initial phases of construction. Advanced working methods were used – casting markers for the curved walls and infrastructure channels were prepared using CNC engraved plates directly from the planning files. Sticking to the outlines of the original plan is essential when working with curves, instead of straight lines.
The whole project was marked by local craft. Except for the electrical appliances, there were hardly any pre-made objects – cast terrazzo in the floor and walls up to 40cm, brass separating line, clay plaster for the walls and ceiling, metal shelves for ceramic plants outside – all were custom-made.
Architect Ben Gitai and the client, a foreign resident from the world of design, have worked together in the past.
In the characterization process for the carpentry, we examined different options for the materials palette.
To me, the decision to use MDF as the main material of carpentry was mostly a matter of concept – we are used
to see it painted in opaque colors (spray painted or powder coated), while here, in an inverted manner, we see it for what it is.
If we swiftly examine the materials used for making fronts in the industrial evolution of carpentry, that is, the transition from working with solid wood for frames and their fillings to panels (two thin sheets of plywood with a wood core) laminated with slices of wood bark or veneer, or painted in opaque colors – we discover that at the end of this process, in a brutalist eye, we are left with the material itself.
MDF is a homogeneous material that is ideal for painting. It is stable, and compared to other materials, resistant to cracking and flexing.
In a closer look, the material has a slightly grainy texture and some irregularity of shades, so despite being "engineered" it feels more corporeal, and I think it incorporates well into the more "natural" materials around. Green MDF contains components that enhance its resistance in humid conditions.
The geometry of the carpentry was almost entirely settled when we entered the project, yet many questions regarding materials, details and realization were left open – budget considerations led to the decision of using the same materials for the rooms' doors, fixed inside the curved walls, which an inner oak structure (here, too, the decision to place the "natural" material inside and expose the engineered material is in the spirit of Form Follows Function).
The choice of using integrated handles for the kitchen's base cabinets as well as green MDF presented a challenge: a curved front with carved handles, and no possibility to glue materials once the door is built. Here we used vacuum forming (usually used when working with composite materials), and used inner keels to make the front's radius as precise as possible – the intersection of the corner worktop, the front of the curved drawer underneath and the cupboard's terrazzo platform left no room for the deviations frequent in laminations works.
Another challenge was the sliding doors that included Gobelins we received from Ben and the customer – creating a detail based on an existing mechanism, which needed to naturally integrate with the organic space of the curved walls. The Gobelin is protected by two panes of glass which also serve as an acoustical partition. The door frame is once again made of oak wood sandwiched between two sheets of moisture resistant MDF.
Ori and I creating one of the curved doors. It is something I brought along from the world of composite materials. The challenge was to establish a continuity in the exposed material of the adjacent fronts, which we solved by using integrated handles. Another challenge was maintaining a precise radius to continue the round terrazzo platform below and terrazzo countertop above.
The Apartment on David Yellin | Space-optimized Urbanism
A cozy apartment for a couple of veteran city dwellers – unconventional combinations of oak and color, with optimal space utilization
A view of the kitchen – a so-called barn door, made of cracked oak – the mechanism may look rough, metalwork, but it is modern and slides as smooth as butter. The veneer furniture in the right-side niche has shelves with minimal support, so as not to upset the window's feng shui. On the left, we see the closing detail of the kitchen and the hall leading to the bedroom and bathroom.
In the Kitchen, fronts' frame and fillings made of oak, combined with color.
Minimalistic L-shaped edge pulls help merge the two different front types
Master Bedroom Closet – A combination of oak veneer and spray paint with integrated handles in a unique pattern
Beyond the barn door – A guest room and workstation – same combination as in the bedroom
Top mirror cabinet, with push-to-open mechanism and colorful integrated shelves. Vanity includes two huge drawers with marble sides and top.
Alternating-tread stairs leading to the roof – massive oak steps on a structure of birch plywood, covered with black Formica and wall paint
Two old wardrobes from the original apartment were brought into the studio and transformed into a single closet (new door in the center), which serves as a partition between the hall and the children's bedroom. Fronts' wood was exposed and later painted in clear varnish.
The closet is utilized on both sides, with Lego baseplates implemented into the doors at the closet's back, and a black metal strip for magnets at the back of the white closet.
The bedrooms' doors are old-school – beech wood and yellow Formica. There is also a secret passageway leading into the room…
Opposite the old closet, we built a utility closet with similarly designed Formica fronts.
The roof has a Mondrian-style deck from old doors we have collected, and a cement board.
The Apartment on Zvi Shapira | Clever reclaiming
The Apartment on Elro'i. Clear cut.
The effortless appearance may be misleading: In this project, maintaining such clean lines required extensive collaboration both in the planning stage (between different craftsmen) and in the execution of carpentry.
The closet of the master bedroom, located in the attic, contains the bathroom's iron and glass door, as well as a door to the wardrobe; the air conditioner is also located at its upper part.
This closet hides an air conditioning unit. It shares the space between the rooms with another closet, so we had a challenge of alternating depths. An oak veneer open library partially solved this problem, also adding some interest. At the left end of the closet (hidden in this image) there is a concrete platform belonging to the apartment's structure; we covered it with the parquet flooring (which was "folded" at 45°) and subtracted a piece of the closet
In one of the children's rooms, we used the floor's parquet boards to create a platform bed with three deep drawers (by the Austrian Blum company, with concealed runners, full extension and soft closing)
The Apartment in Ramat Gan |
Craft-loving guests from Switzerland
A display cabinet from a pharmacy in the Netherlands, bought at Jaffa's flea market, was transformed into three pieces positioned against the quiet background of this modern kitchen.
For the bathroom, we opted for pine wood planks which once served as a floor. They combine well with the surrounding tadelakt (Moroccan plaster for moist environments)
A detail from a bedroom furniture made of slightly stained breech plywood, in Japanese-inspired minimalistic design
The House in Kfar Uria | Wood, iron and blue.
A long journey brought these pinewood panels from a Jaffa building all the way to Kfar Uria in the Judean Mountains. Stair footings with an industrial metal structure and clear varnish.
The kitchen uses the same wood, combined with birch fronts coated with two-toned blue Formica.
Parents' bathroom furniture made of five old orange boxes, left intact for the furniture's lower part and dismantled to be used as planks for its top surface.
The Apartment on Refidim | An ode for a home
An apartment with an unusual combination of materials, and a challenge of floating shelves in a protruding corner.
Kitchen – Red birch plywood, stained and varnished, with beech veneer and cutout cabinet holes. Pantry cabinet around the fridge spray-painted in white with cutout holes.
Study – a combination of red plywood and Formica on birch plywood with exposed molding
Children's room – a platform bed with drawers, made of the same parquet boards used for the floor.
Bedroom closets in Formica on birch plywood with exposed molding, surrounding frame from stained and varnished beech veneer, with custom-made oak handles
Bathroom cabinets, top surface from varnished and stained multi-layered beech – an amazing material Tal introduced to us!