With its sacred history and distinct environment, the Galilee is considered one of the most beautiful regions of Israel – and local firm Golany Architects sought to do it justice in their design. Sitting on the edge of a village and overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the property was spoilt with a prime position; but the resulting architecture manages to capture both the ambiance of the environment and the elements that originate from it.
Founded by Yaron and Galit Golany, an Australian-Israeli architect couple who split their time between Australia and Israel, Golany Architects have carved out an impressive portfolio of projects from London to Tel Aviv.
Their local expertise came in handy when considering the sustainable and environmental opportunities for the project, such as the wooden shutters to share and filter the intense sun. Sliding in adjustment to the position of the sun, the shutter lattices are typical of Mediterranean mashrabiya, blocking views inwards and maintaining privacy, while still allowing the inhabitants to enjoy the scenery from the inside. The light rays penetrating through the slits create a magical, ever-changing atmosphere in the interior anytime the sun illuminates the shutters.
Of course having been blessed with such beautiful surrounds, you wouldn’t want it to go to waste – so Golany Architects have cleverly used recessed windows and doors to create a double-skin envelope for the home. Despite the heavy heat in this region, the house stays cool and pleasant even during the hottest days of summer – and every room comes with an impressive view.
Local perspective also helped inform the palette of the home; in particular the yellowish-brown ridge at the front of the property. Natural, earthy colours were chosen for the textured plaster and the timber shutters outside, while light brown stone paving gives a cool touch underfoot and the wooden ceiling with its massive exposed beams further develop the provincial aesthetic.
Inside this cleverly-concealed structure, Golany Architects have maximised indoor-outdoor spaces; room to sit out in the fresh air while enjoying the privacy and intimacy of inside (and avoiding the heat of the sun). The ground level makes for much of the communal spaces, from the covered balcony to the indoor living and dining areas, while upstairs another indoor-outdoor balcony extends the family room and creates some open space between the bedrooms. Living areas are further extended by the garden, which helps to integrate the home to its pastoral surroundings with Olive and Carob groves and the preservation of mature trees (like the Cypress and Oak). With the horses grazing nearby, the soaring views of the Sea of Galilee below and the mountainous terrain above, the ambiance of the natural environment is celebrated by this home – making for a perfect harmony between the natural and the new elements.