Like a rock...

04 Oct 2011

Unique Jerusalem home projects from raw rockface combining natural influences with cutting edge design techniques

This ethereal private residence by Paritzki & Liani Architects is almost more about the existing environment than the architectural construction, as the textured structure is wrapped around the raw rock face, framing the stone and making an architectural feature out of the natural material.

As the architects explain: “It is superfluous to emphasise that, from our very first visit to the site, impressed by a pink Cyclamen growing out of the rocky face, we decided to allow ourselves to be guided by the raw state of the terrain. Our treatment of the site emerged from this stabilitas loci, which we subdivided into three main themes: Jerusalem, a city of rock and stone; wide aerial views; and the sacred architecture of multiple religions intersecting in the skyline. These images composed the texture and backdrop for the project.”

On the first floor a minimalist L-shaped volume is contrasted by rough stone wall, enlivening the living space with its unrefined, textured surface. Upstairs, two separate units project from the landscape, meeting the rock and forming a private tunnel. This channel narrows from a generous 6m at the apex of the site to 3m at the base, where a subterranean room leads to an isolated entranceway.

In a subtle reflection of the projecting volumes erupting from the rock face, many of the building’s facades are coated in modules of Jerusalem stone measuring 53cm x 25cm and alternating in 2cm projections from the building's edge. This design choice has been made to further develop the relationship between the house and the mountains within which it is located and the architect explains: “If on the outside the chiaroscuro pattern seems screen-printed, the building’s interior allows light to penetrate its volumes, accentuating depth. Daily life in the house runs parallel to the exposed rock, separated only be a slender gap, or wadi: a tribute to the winter rain and snow.”

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