John Pawson Turns an Old Hospital and Convent Into a Luxe Hotel in Israel

John Pawson Turns an Old Hospital and Convent Into a Luxe Hotel in Israel

After an extensive renovation, the doors to Israel's beautifully designed Jaffa Hotel are officially open.

Located less than four miles from Tel Aviv, in the historic port city of Jaffa, the recently completed Jaffa Hotel has been designed by London–based architectural designer John Pawson, together with local conservationist and architect Ramy Gill. 

Pawson, who is known for his signature minimalist style and visionary designs, and Gill worked alongside a team of restoration experts to meticulously and lovingly restore the 19th-century structure that once served as a French hospital and convent. Working with a neutral color palette that seamlessly blends into the Mediterranean climate and the property’s heady atmosphere, the project successfully juxtaposes the historic elements of the building with Pawson's elegant, contemporary touch. With a transformation that has spanned over a decade, the results are nothing short of spectacular.  

During the renovation, Pawson and Gill added an entirely new building to the former hospital and convent. In the new structure, Pawson has created a modernist lobby, highlighting remnants of a 13th-century Crusader’s bastion wall that was uncovered during the excavation. 

The bastion wall has been incorporated into the lobby's design. 

A view from the exterior. 

The lobby’s historic elements are juxtaposed with classic midcentury designs from Shiro Kuramata and Pierre Paulin, and tied together with artwork by Damien Hirst.

The lobby also features a Sheshbesh (backgammon) lounge and has been completed with bespoke tables designed by Pawson, which pay homage to the traditional games that merchants play in the nearby Jaffa market.

A close-up of the Shebesh tables designed by Pawson. 

The Jaffa Hotel has a total of 120 hotel rooms and suites, along with a new six-story wing that features 32 private residences.

A series of arches and colonnades lead to a secluded central courtyard situated between the old structures and Pawson's new addition.

There is also a gorgeous outdoor pool. 

Restored elements include stucco and stonework.

Plastered walls were scraped to reveal generations of patina.

 A peek at the striking contemporary lounge bar located in the historic 19th-century chapel.

Gorgeous golden-yellow Cini Boeri Botolo chairs pair perfectly with the chapel's neutral palette and high ceilings.

One of the hotel's eating establishments is the New York-style deli Golda’s Delicatessen, whose decor includes modernist chairs from Thonet set against a backdrop of historic stonework.

The minimalist Pawson-designed spa.

The rooms boast the same contemporary yet historic feel. This is the "Deluxe Historic Room". 

The stylish Presidential suite features a sofa and chairs from Lignet Roset.

The bedroom of the Presidential suite.

Throughout the hotel, patterned screens known as Masharabiya complement contemporary motifs and patterns—Pawson’s homage to traditional Middle Eastern architecture. 

An exterior view of an artistic row of balconies. 

The rooms offer spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea

The Jaffa Hotel is located at 2 Louis Pasteur Street, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Project Credits: 

Architects of Record: John Pawson (@johnpawson) and Ramy Gill
Interior Design: John Pawson
Landscape Architects: Rees Roberts + Partners LLP
Interior fit-out, bespoke furniture, joinery, and some external stonework: B&B Italia
Windows: Panoramah 
Windows & metal works: Glassteel 
Metalwork: Jofebar 
Lighting design: RTLD 
Bespoke Furniture: AHSAP 
Apartment Kitchens: Bulthaup 
Objects: when objects work 
Bespoke lighting:  And/Costa
Exterior stonework: Jerusalem Gardens


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