Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
House PS in Even Yehuda, Israel by TheHeder Partnership
February 26th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
House PS is the result of an ongoing investigation of the courtyard house typology with all its Mediterranean connotations of climate, shade and intimacy. In this house, the courtyard is designed in section rather than in plan. Placed above the lower ground floor and below the bedrooms of the upper floor, the courtyard is shaded from the hot summer sun. This central, shaded exterior room is a natural extension of the interior spaces of the house.
The house is in a typically suburban context, but the plot itself is an irregular “L” shape stretching between two streets creating 2 entrances. The southern family entrance is located under a cantilevered canopy and along a path leading towards the central courtyard. The northern formal entrance is through the double volume entrance hall and only then is the central courtyard revealed. The house is situated between 2 gardens – a lower south garden with swimming pool and the upper east winter garden.
The proportions of the house are regulated by the golden section and Le Corbusier’s modular. This investigation determines the dimensions in plan and in section and is revealed in the windows and bespoke timberwork.
The house is built over 3 different floor plates. The lower level is a long rectangle including a large playroom that opens out onto the lower garden and swimming pool. The ground floor is an “L” shaped plan including the entrance lobby, living room, dining room and kitchen and folds around the central courtyard. The top floor is “U” shaped in plan around a central narrow void with a family room in the middle and bedrooms on either side.
Within the intimate internal courtyard, the openings are large and generous and allow for interior and exterior spaces to merge. In contrast to this, the windows on the exterior walls are sheltered and controlled creating a tough protective shell.
The interior spaces slowly reveal themselves along the carefully organized route starting from the lower ground floor up through the house and ending in a hidden curved staircase leading up to a private roof garden and meditation space. Concealed skylights above the staircase provide soft reflected light that highlights the pure white surfaces. These skylights also open to provide for the natural ventilation of the interior spaces.
The white minimalist interior is further enhanced by the cool grey bespoke furniture. The starkly reduced pallet creates a quiet, intimate home colored by the family’s active lifestyle.
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