Our New-Old Home in Jaffa

view to the sea e

The ancient, Biblical port city of Jaffa

One of my newest artistic projects is restoring, designing and furnishing an 150 year old-historical piece of vernacular, Ottoman architecture. Basically, we bought a fixer-upper! We’re moving “down the street” from Neve Tzedek to Jaffa (a 15 minute walk) where we will adjust to the very different sea-side city, it’s inhabitants and all Jaffa has to offer. I’ll be documenting the 2nd floor, one story residence through it’s restoration. We’ve hired the architects Paritsky and Liani because we like their clean, modern style; together we will design the house to highlight the original shapes and materials of the structure and combine modern architectural elements that will blend with the ancient. After a brief history of what best illustrates Ottoman architecture,  you will see the interior of our new-old house before any work has started.

studio-courtyard-dining eTurkey ruled the area that is now Israel from the earyly 16th century to 1922; we can see numerous example of vernacular Ottoman architecture throughout Israel. Ottoman architecture can be recognized by a few basic characteristics common to the style: vaulted ceilings, domed ceilings, semi domes, pointed arches, columns, inner and outer courtyards and ornate tile decorations. Ottoman period courtyards were influenced by the Paradise of the Koran; so the garden (courtyard) or Earthly Paradise was designed to represent heaven, a serene place. Decorative motifs were based on nature. Vernacular Ottoman architecture retains the basic Ottoman style but the residential architecture is built with native building materials, forms, and spatial arrangements.

Positive elements of Ottoman architecture are:

  • Thick cement walls to aid in resistance of the vaulted ceilings (arched).:
    Non-combustible, low heat transfer in fires
  • Does not rot, termite-proof at prescribed densities
  • Non-toxic, insulating, creates a healthy micro-climate, feels warm
  • Sound absorbing, neighbors cannot be heard through the walls.
    dining room and front courtyard area e

 front court-yard, studio, dining area bedroom eroots growing in ceiling efront staircase efront steps to the roof eIMG_4138view e

corner room efamily room into a bedroom e

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Our New-Old Home in Jaffa”

  1. Woke up to the rooster crowing on Neve Tzedek and thank you for explaining where the heck it was coming from! How is your new old house in Jaffa coming along? Great project. We will be staying at the Clock Tower apts Jan 17/18. Love this part of Tel Aviv.
    Margaret from Washington, DC

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