Moveable Wooden Screens Add a Playful Touch to This Airy Home in Israel

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By Anna Squier
Overlooking an open field with unobstructed views of the Sea of Galilee, this modern home effortlessly blends into its rural surroundings.

Designed by Tel-Aviv practice Golany Architects, the design of Residence in the Galilee maximizes the potential of the setting by creating direct connections between the home and the natural environment. 

Finished in a palette that is suitable to the rural landscape, the house is clad in a cement-textured plaster with timber shutters, which relates to the yellow and brown hues nearby. To maximize the site and incorporate outdoor spaces, the layout has been split into two levels, organizing the main living spaces on the ground floor with the bedrooms above. The living areas extends out toward the sea, while the bedrooms hover above the trees, both with expansive views in all directions. 

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The home connects to the rural surroundings, reflecting the colors and textures of the scenery where horses graze and olive groves grow.

The home connects to the rural surroundings, reflecting the colors and textures of the scenery where horses graze and olive groves grow.

The movable shutters create a playful facade that conceals and reveals interior spaces.

The movable shutters create a playful facade that conceals and reveals interior spaces.

Sustainable strategies that take advantage of the Mediterranean setting are integrated into the design. Large openings along the east and south are protected from the intense sun by movable wooden shutters. These wooden screens provide privacy and shade, while allowing the occupants to enjoy the outdoor elements in a comfortable setting. 

The residence appears as a simple box perched at the edge of the rocks.  Simple in form, the intricate thoughtfulness to site and character is concealed.

The residence appears as a simple box perched at the edge of the rocks. Simple in form, the intricate thoughtfulness to site and character is concealed.

Exposed wooden beams draw in the natural elements.  Furnishings and textiles are composed of similar materials, creating a subdued and relaxed interior palette.

Exposed wooden beams draw in the natural elements. Furnishings and textiles are composed of similar materials, creating a subdued and relaxed interior palette.

The double-skin envelope composed of glass and wooden shutters enhances the thermal comfort of the home, while also creating an ever-changing facade. The in-between spaces between the two layers transform into outdoor rooms that blend the boundary between interior and exterior. On each level, outdoor living spaces extend the interior seamlessly onto the surrounding landscape, and carefully situated openings provide views to the sea, village, and garden. 

Light stone paving and wooden beams run continuously from interior to exterior, further blurring the boundary between the two.

Light stone paving and wooden beams run continuously from interior to exterior, further blurring the boundary between the two.

The large spans of glass provide unlimited views to the outdoor landscape.

The large spans of glass provide unlimited views to the outdoor landscape.

Expansive glazing provides continuous visual connections to the outdoors.

Expansive glazing provides continuous visual connections to the outdoors.

The main living spaces open directly onto a grand exterior patio shaded by wooden screens.

The main living spaces open directly onto a grand exterior patio shaded by wooden screens.

The wood shutters provide ever-changing patterns of light.  As the sun changes throughout the day, the light falls in diverse patterns through the light-filtering screens.

The wood shutters provide ever-changing patterns of light. As the sun changes throughout the day, the light falls in diverse patterns through the light-filtering screens.

The in-between spaces between the walls of glass and the wooden shutters become exterior living spaces.

The in-between spaces between the walls of glass and the wooden shutters become exterior living spaces.

As the screens move throughout the day, the outdoor space can either stay enclosed or upon up to the landscape, further enhancing the seamless connection between indoors and outdoors.

As the screens move throughout the day, the outdoor space can either stay enclosed or upon up to the landscape, further enhancing the seamless connection between indoors and outdoors.

A covered balcony is located off of the bedrooms on the upper floor.

A covered balcony is located off of the bedrooms on the upper floor.

Private balconies provide unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape from each bedroom.

Private balconies provide unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape from each bedroom.

The home is quietly set on the landscape as it reaches out toward both the hills and horizon.

The home is quietly set on the landscape as it reaches out toward both the hills and horizon.

Recently, this striking house was filmed for the acclaimed BBC's program The World's Most Extraordinary Homes

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Golany Architects