An urban, 500 square meter apartment occupying an entire floor of a tower block in Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv. The apartment was designed for a couple who have been collecting unique pieces of furniture from around the world for many years. The asked me to design a space that would be the perfect showcase for some of their most loved pieces, pieces that they also want to use in their apartment.
I was shown most of the furniture to be used in the space before I began the design process. Other pieces, designed to compliment the existing collection, were chosen, along with me, from pieces in galleries in Israel and in France.
All the items of furniture are either collector’s pieces or vintage furniture carefully selected from markets and galleries over a period of more than 20 years. All the art pieces are by Israel artists only, all specially selected for the project.
Here are just a few examples of some of the collector’s items: a dining table, one of two designed by the artist Martin Szekely. The table is created using legs of corrugated metal with a Corian top with a unique color. In the dining room, the light fixtures are vintage pieces from Italy – a pair of Venini glass starburst chandeliers with chrome hardware – vintage glass with restored chrome hardware.
The main piece of art in the apartment is created by Yehudit Sasportas and is part of a piece that represented Israel at the Venice Biennale in Italy a few years ago. The work is a three dimensional piece where parts of the structure can be moved on a track system to the side, thus enabling the creation of a new viewpoint from the same elements. Other works are by Sigalit Landau and Guy Zarguski who designed a special piece for the apartment’s long hallway.
The central design concept was to design a space that would hold its own as an architectural element but that would also provide a fitting backdrop for its contents whist providing a space that closely resembles the monochromatic and meditative atmosphere of an art gallery.
Dynamic, unique, hand crafted aluminum partitions were built within the apartment, again, as in an art gallery. The partitions can be moved and pivoted on a central axis allowing to divide or open the various spaces. The atmosphere of a gallery is completed by a white floor that was poured on-site.
The architectural restraint and precision of the space and of the materials are an acknowledgement of the importance of this furniture collection, gathered together over so many years in a journey covering many cities and many different designers. The result is an attempt to walk that so very fragile line between the apartment and the space with architectural and design presence without, at the same time, imposing the architecture on the contents.