Architect Tali Laub Richter has designed a six-level urban villa in Tel Aviv, managing to intelligently combine classicism and comfort with the urban needs of the city without creating an “extraneous” environment reflected in the landscape.
From the outside, the small building stands on one of Tel Aviv's northern streets, not far from Yarkon Park, looks like a classic urban three-story residential building resting on a columned piano.
But inside is a surprise: it is a private home, a special Tel Aviv “town house” built by architect Tali Laub Richter for her family-her husband Uri and their three daughters, twins aged 12 and eight and a half.
“We lived abroad for many years and in our heads we had a town house, an urban villa, in our minds, something that didn't really exist in Israel,” says the architect. In fact, normally, urban villas exist mainly in cities such as London and New York, and are characterized by a small area and several floors. “We searched a lot. It took a while before we found this lot. When designing the new house, it was important to me that the facade not be alien to the street, that it have the characteristics of a ‘normal' building in Tel Aviv. We didn't want an “alien” place that would stand out a lot in its surroundings, so we kept the principles of the typical style of the city and the country, including the Mishrabiya element in the stairs.”
Along with the principled choice not to stand out in the area, explains Laub Richter, there were also constraints arising from urban building requirements, including the height of the columns, which combined with the need to build at a height that resulted from the relatively modest size of the lot, 260 sq. m.
Double living room plan
The single-family house actually consists of six levels, four of which are built and two open: the ground floor is used as a large courtyard, largely covered, with a swimming pool and projector that allows outdoor movie watching. Below is a basement, which houses Laub Richter's architectural studio and the studio of his partner, the photographer, as well as the house's service area, which includes a pantry, laundry room and storage room. Three upper floors are dedicated, however, to residences, and especially to the green loft on the roof of the building.
On the second floor there are the kitchen, living room, and two dining areas – a smaller one located in the kitchen and a larger, more formal one – as well as guest services. Contrary to what is customary in many contemporary homes, the large modern kitchen, which takes up about a third of the total floor area, is separated from the space by a wall.
“I really like to cook, but I'm a bit awkward in my movements and I especially don't like to see the mess that comes with working in the kitchen,” explains Laub Richter.
That's the reason why in this context, the owners' choice fell on the performance and innovation that distinguish Riciclantica, with attached New Logica special element, designed to offer maximum functionality and ergonomics in the kitchen.
The tilting upper doors and downward sliding doors open and close with just the force of a finger to reveal and conceal, if necessary, all the equipment on the back panel, a patented element that can be configured as needed and can also accommodate the hood.
The opening with grooves cuts the surface of the base units highlighting precisely the search for maximum dematerialization and making the thinness of the door perceived.
Besides New Logica, another central element of the kitchen project is the island made with the Linea top.
The island features an integrated cooktop and a cantilevered portion of the top to be used as an informal and convivial snack area. It is a composition that favors minimalist lines.
The color choice also contributes to return a result of extreme formal cleanliness: the composition is played on black and white, an always current and refined combination, in harmony with the architectural style of the house.
A large window overlooking the garden makes the entire space green and cheerful, despite the monochromatic colors and bare surfaces of the interior space.
Riciclantica with its aluminum structure, resistant to water, steam and heat, fits perfectly into the residential context of this Tel Aviv urban villa. This contemporary kitchen perfectly fits in this private context, addressing maximum attention to well-being and harmony between the residential environment and the natural one.