Driven by a dream to create a home that was truly his own, Oren Yonayov has developed a six-storey apartment building in Tel Aviv that adds a modern edge to one of the worlds oldest cities. Having jumped at the opportunity six years ago to purchase the block of land in the Neveh Tzedek area, known for being the first Jewish quarter to be founded in city, Yonanov has gone on to create his very own ‘contemporary collective’ within the building. “I knew that if I wanted a home that was truly mine, I had to make it myself, from start to finish. And I had the pleasure of involving some of my best friends in the project as they bought the other floors,” says Yonayov who has clearly mastered the art of apartment living in Tel Aviv.
Now living on the 4th floor with partner Michal Afori and their children Emma and Adam, the young family gave up their three storey traditional stone home just 100 metres away for this single level modern apartment with a view of the 14km shoreline bordering the city. Designed by renown Israeli architect Gidi Bar Orian, the buildings floor to ceiling windows and large terraces allow for a panoramic view of the city’s red rooftops and azure blue horizon beyond.
“My vision was a loft-style home developed with design-driven details and a quest for quality. I wanted one open space which is why my home has no doors,” Yonayov explains. The 180 m2 apartment has been divided up to house an open plan kitchen and living room area that flows out onto one of the two terraces with concrete walls left untouched complete with pipes and cables to achieve the industrial style loft aesthetic. In place of doors, a change of materials have been used to mark the line between the bathrooms and bedrooms with glass cabinets surrounding the bedrooms and the bathrooms within standing as a solid marble box.
Essentially acting as the front door, the elevator opens up directly into the kitchen where guests are welcomed into the heart of this family’s home as soon as they arrive. “I grew up in the kitchen, my family is all about food, and our lives revolve around it,” says Yonayov. Family and friends congregate around a 5.6 metre long, steel island bench designed by Vipp which had to be lifted into the apartment by two cranes through the front terrace.
After initially seeing a Vipp kitchen on a blog, Yonayov travelled to Copenhagen a month later to learn more about the company that designs kitchens as pieces of furniture rather than fixed cabinetry. With the three main components of a Vipp kitchen consisting of a wall module, tall module and an island bench, Yananov’s decision making process around the kitchen layout was made easy with the result being a beautifully modern kitchen that can be added to or reconfigured as needs change.
Taking six years to design and construct, Yonayov and his young family are completely sold on the concept of apartment living in a busy city – and could not be happier to have their friends as neighbours live above and below them. Sounds like the perfect arrangement to us.
Yellow Sun sculpture on wall by Israeli artist Ron Aloni, Flos Aim Lamps at Nest UK, CH 56/58 Bar Stool by Carl Hansen at Nest UK, stainless steel kitchen island bench with two sinks, taps and 4 gas hubs from Vipp, Pedal bin from Vipp.
A large Vitra sofa faces the built-in fireplace that hides the only TV in the home.
Eames Lounge and Ottoman at Herman Miller.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Anders Hviid