Patio House / Jonathan Canetti Architecture & Design
Text description provided by the architects. The Patio House, located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Tel Aviv, is a modern interpretation of a classic Mediterranean house. It has a sun-filled patio at its heart, enclosed by all the public areas of the house. The prominent pitched roof extends from the patio upwards to create spacious double-height interior spaces. Designed for a family of five, the house is relatively small, just shy of 180 sqm. The ground floor is planned to take up less than a third of the lot in order to maximize the yards surrounding the house and to create an intimate yet spacious home.
A straight axis connects the entrance gate, the front door, and the glass door leading to the backyard. When standing at the entrance one can experience the entire length of the lot, through the house and straight to the green backyard. All the public areas of the house; kitchen, patio, and living room are located on one side of this axis. They are covered with the same light-khaki-colored terrazzo tiles. Together they create a trio of public spaces where most of everyday life takes place, inside and outside. The intimate patio is connected to the kitchen, living room, and main passageway by large glass openings. It can be seen from almost any spot in the house. The wooden beams of the roof extend outwards over the patio to define the outdoor space from above.
On the other side of the axis, all the private rooms are located: kid’s bedrooms, the main bathroom, a guest room, and a guest toilet. The stairs leading up to the parents’ master bedroom separate the public and private spaces. Since only the parents’ master bedroom was placed on the top floor, it defined the unique shape of the roof. In the front of the house, the single sloped roof goes over the top floor and continues straight down over the kitchen. Both the kitchen and the master bedroom enjoy a slanted ceiling that extends from 3 to 4.5 meters in height. A more traditional double-pitched roof covers the back part of the house. The dining table was carefully placed right under the highest point of the roof, and straight in front of the entrance door. A white globe light fixture hangs over the table from the 6 meters high ceiling.
The local Mediterranean climate also plays a big part in the design of the house. The slant extends over the entrance, sheltering it from sun and rain. It provides much-needed shade during the morning when the sun hits the large triangular window in the kitchen. The U shape of the house is a classic Mediterranean layout, in which the patio brings natural light into the inner parts of the house. During summer it provides natural ventilation to surrounding spaces and during winter it functions as a sheltered outdoor space. Two skylight windows were placed at the highest peaks of the pitched roof: one right above the dining table, and the other at the top of the stairs. When they are open, they allow warm air to escape, thus naturally cooling the house.