In Conversation with the Architects Behind this Stunning Israel Home

The process of taking old traditions and building on them to create a modern, enhanced version is a common practice in architecture. Inspired by the contemporary trend of modernising and rejuvenating the early 19th century style farmhouse, designers Henkin Irit & Shavit Zohar created this beautiful Israel-based home, ‘The Modernist Farmhouse.’

Architecture: HENKIN SHAVIT Architecture & Design
Location: Hof Hasharon, Israel
Size: 375 sqm
Photographs: Assaf pinchuk

The building combines elements from the traditional rustic architectural farmhouse style with a new modern, sleek, minimalist feel. The build boasts features common in older farmhouses, including timber cladding, high ceilings and a boundless amount of natural light and surrounding greenery.

By contrast, the white walls both inside and out, polished furnishings, large patio space with a pool and outdoor seating area surrounded by trees provide an original fresh touch.

This Modernist Farmhouse stands as a striking piece of architectural design, consisting of two houses connected by a shed, a light structure that combines glass, wood and steel in the middle.

Henkin and Shavit put a sleeker spin on the open-plan layout, with rooms streamlining onto one another through open archways, glass doors and floor to ceiling windows. The home serves as an example of how architects and designers can utilise traditional styles to create fresh, contemporary, desirable spaces.

We spoke to the design duo and try to find out more about their design.

THE PLUS: You utilised the contemporary trend of modernising and rejuvenating the early 19th century style farmhouse to create a new, modern, sleek and minimalist feel. Where did you draw your inspiration from for this project?

Henkin & Shavit:
On a farm, a number of individual residential buildings are used by landlords and their employees. The buildings are characterised by different building styles and diverse material technology. The various buildings are scattered on the farm and incorporate wood, metal and building technologies into blocks or bricks. In this project, we chose to connect the same “farm buildings” when their connection creates one private home.

TP: What kind of atmosphere were you trying to create with this home? Did you have an idea of how you wanted future residents to feel?

Because the idea that started with the concept of a “modern farmhouse” the founding concept evolved and also drew values from the concept of “plowing”, since on an agricultural farm there is no area limit we considered it appropriate to adhere to the idea of a one-story flat structure that is very much avoided by the street and incorporates the vegetation and trees that embrace it.

TP: How did the location in Israel impact your design?

We wanted the spatial experience at home to change according to these different functions affecting the space cut as well as its finishing materials and most importantly it was to create the space connections as an experiential collage of varying cross section and a complex combination of finishing materials.

TP: What were the biggest challenges when bringing the vision to life?

The house is built in a seat belonging to the Sharon Coastal Council in the center of the country in the strip of coastal plain near the Mediterranean. In this session most of the houses are located on several Acres of land, which enabled the opening of large windows overlooking the perimeter of the building.

TP: Would you say you have a signature style and if so, how does this project connect with or differ from that style?

Our style is modern as a style that examines the use of industrial materials that preserve their source material, we always enjoy re-integrating them together in the case of this home. The main tune of the project is the cutting experience as well as the weight and volume transitions and light weight material. We are currently designing exposed concrete houses as well as designing interiors for old stone houses undergoing reconstruction and construction additions, so our center of activity is dealing with the concept of “time” and “new old.”We definitely think this project presents the design discussion that our studio is looking into.

TP: The shed connecting the two parts of the house is an integral (and aesthetically vital) part of the design. Where did this idea come from?

The idea of a “shed” came from the same farm farm sheds used to store agricultural produce or as parking sheds and the operation of various tools found on agricultural farms such as tractors, harvesting machines, sowing and various agricultural produce

TP: Three must-have items in your ideal farmhouse?

For us, a farmhouse must contain a number of buildings that are interconnected. It needs to incorporate a number of construction technologies and we believe it should contain contemporary and antique or “heavy” design details.

TP: Where would you like to build a holiday house for yourself?

We would love to build a house on the island of Mykonos or the beach town of Ao Nang, Thailand or Rio de Janeiro, brazil.