Tsamert Complex, Tel Aviv, 2015
Pitsou Kedem Architects
Design team: Pitsou Kedem , Hila Sela
In charge architect: Hila Sela
Styling for photography: Eti Buskila
Photography: Amit Geron
Four consecutive corner apartments in a building in the Tsamert Complex in Tel Aviv have been combined into one spacious apartment. The interior design is simple and consists of two public levels that also contain two private levels.
The apartment’s entrance is through the lower level, which contains the kitchen, dining area and a large double sized living area. The entire level is also surrounded by a balcony. In a similar fashion the penthouse floor is designed as an upper living area with a large salon overlooking the balcony and a swimming pool and a kitchen and bathrooms. The effect is of two different and separate living levels that make possible a range of social activities and interactions at one and the same time.
Between the two public spaces, we find the private areas – bedrooms and work areas that also have their own, private outside spaces.
The physical connection between the spaces is made possible by the use of elevators and stairs. These are designed as a pathway that looks out over the seemingly ever-changing design – a topological framework in white that seems to rise and fall, following and enveloping the internal walls, floors and ceiling bringing together the facets of the prism into a deceptive and gravity free space composed of patches of white and shade. A patchwork of clearly defined lines, like a plant creeping up a clear trellis.
The envelope’s panels are emphasized to bring out the white from its neutral, flat boundaries into the space’s monolithic effect – like a piece of sculpture that catches and presents the space. This nullifies the need for any additional design elements other than those that light and accompany the space. These include the lighting elements, which provide natural light, and the staircases, also designed as a white prism that is both flat and expanded. The topographical white is further enhanced by the large, orthogonal glass walls that cast a myriad rays of light differing in their shade and brightness.
Next to them, we find a wall of linear translucent glass panels that act as a Japanese rice paper room divider that identifies the space without cutting it off from the totality. The use of glass also adds and emphasizes the white, creeping framework and adds an additional dynamic created by the people moving through the space. In a similar fashion movement and views in the space are also emphasized by the work areas and sitting areas that are placed by the stairways as terraces that both observe and are observed.
The careful selection of materials and hues is also evident in the apartment’s other elements such as the floors and the furniture – monochromatic, reserved and deep – that surprise the viewer as they envelope the light and the brightness. The space is full of fragments of naturally appearing light and shade in yellow and grey hues that appear as a compact, stable and uniform unit. Despite it being almost completely exposed on all its sides, the invasion of the outside urban environment is seen in a restrained, organic and non-threatening fashion.
AA (Architectural Association) Diploma RIBA Part 2
FOUNDER SINCE 2000
Hila Weiss sella
B.Arch. Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Tel Aviv-Jaffa / Israël
Pitsou Kedem Architects Studio
Pitsou Kedem Architects Studio opened in 2000 and today consists of 11 architects. The studio is responsible for the design and planning of many projects in Israel and lately, also in Europe.
Pitsou Kedem set up the studio after finishing his studies at the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA). The studio’s design language and concept is founded on the modernist style and his work encompasses the values and principles of the period as well as the design philosophies of the modernist movement.
During its formative years, the studio was involved in a constant dialogue with the fundamental principles of minimalism: reduction and moderation, clean lines for each element, separation of structural materials as part of the process designed to avoid the irrelevant in order to emphasize the significant and refining and seeking out the essence of the space.
Together, all these elements lead to a strong architectural concept that is uncompromising in its search for the absolute truth, in its pursuit for purity of form and shape and in its goal of achieving a spatial perception of comfort and tranquility.
This constant quest for simplicity leads to sophisticated and precise elements which , in turn, contributes to their uniqueness.
The majority of the studio’s projects can be characterized by simple geometric, rectangular and recurring shapes that impart an exact and interconnecting look to the structure and its spaces.
Structural facades are uniform, mono-chromatic, devoid of all decoration and provide a feeling of being almost monumental in nature. By using this architectural and design language, we attempt to bring order to urban chaos, For the past years, the studio has been searching for new materials, for a fresher approach that will allow us to enter new territory and step outside of recognized and boundaries. After years of simplifying materials to the extent avoiding all distractions that created those pure moments when “emptiness” disappeared and the individual sees and feels all that they failed to see and feel before, we began to add layers of materials and spatial layers. Inevitably, these layers created increasingly ambiguous and illusory spaces within the structure, layers that, in turn, created a greater sense of curiosity.
A great deal of effort was used in our research for new materials, and in particular, for materials to be used for building external structures and walls. In its ongoing search to deepen and expand its architectural and design language and to add new contentment, the studio has, over the past few years, been working with contrasting materials such as weathered steel and exposed concrete on the one hand and carbon and other new and innovative materials taken from the world of industrial technology on the other. The combination of different materials and different architectural and design languages and even, on occasion, different schools of design, created, in many projects, a surprising and dramatic tension.
The studio designs projects covering a wide range of sizes and complexity. From the interior design of restaurants, stores and living spaces to the design of private residences – usually those spreading over very large plots – and recently, hotels and residential complexes.
In all of our projects we consult closely with the client and “brainstorm” in our efforts to discover the story, the concept, that flash of inspiration that will lead to the project’s design. The nucleus of an idea, leads to the development of the design language and concept which then leads to the development of spaces which serve the users – whilst all the time, placing an emphasis on the context and the integration of the building into the urban fabric.
The studio has, over the years, been awarded many prizes including, for the past seven years, the Israeli Design Award. Our designs have been showcased in many professional journals and magazines around the world as well as on leading architectural web sites.
Pitsou Kedem has mentored graduation projects for the Faculty of Architecture at the Technion, Israel and lectures regularly at all of Israel’s architectural faculties.