This Unusual Tel-Aviv Home Merges Minimalism and Playfulness


Pitsou Kedem Architects design with elimination in mind. Founded in Tel-Aviv on the modernist style in 2000, they have since designed private homes, restaurants, stores, and even hotels. In each independent project, their design process aims “to avoid the irrelevant in order to emphasise the significant.” The team has taken this aim to the next level with their latest project, D3 House.


D3 House posits a neutral colour palette. Its exterior combines two vastly different rectangular volumes: one of concrete perched offset above a white aluminium shell patterned with triangles and triangular cut-outs. Inside, these perforations create playful movement of light and shadows across the walls and floor.


Project: D3 House
Architects: Pitsou Kedem Architects
Design: Irene Goldberg and Pitsou Kedem
Lead Architect: Raz Melamed
Lighting Design: Orly Avron Alkabes
Styling for photography: Eti Buskila
Photography: Amit Geron


An internal patio provides views with privacy through the house’s glass wall while creating the feeling that even whilst indoors, one is outside. The colourful plants surrounding the house bring it to life, developing a feeling of movement, life and dimensionality. In its perch by the sea, the D3 House comes to life, its layered elements seeming to take flight in the breeze.


We met up with the studio’s founder, Pitsou Kedem, to learn more about the story behind the home.

THE PLUS: Where was this house built, and how did you design it to suit that location?
Pitsou Kedem:
The house is built on a plot of land in the centre of the country. Since there are neighbouring houses on both sides, we built the house with a central patio that would offer interesting views from the interior to the exterior and again from the exterior inwards. The western side of the plot faces the sea and the sunset, and so we positioned a huge west-facing fenestration in the main bedroom.


TP: How do you begin the creative process to design a new building from scratch? What are your common first inspirations?
As a start to the creative process for designing a new building from scratch, I first relate to the setting and the context. I examine the topography and the site’s microclimate. The second step is to seek a central idea, perhaps a geometric configuration or any other idea that will lend itself to the exterior and interior design.


TP: Tell us about the materials chosen for the inside and outside of this house.
For the house’s exterior, we used architectural concrete so as to create a contrast between the structure itself and the white aluminium envelope with its pattern of triangles. It was important to us to create a contrast between the elegance and lightness of the aluminium and the coarser look of the concrete. Within the house we chose more classical materials and used a lot of natural stone with a special textured finish. We also carried the exterior materials inwards, using architectural concrete for some of the interior walls.


TP: How does working in a studio with 11 other architects affect and shape your personal style?
I’m a great believer in brainstorming and dialogue. My studio works as a team and there is always room for everyone’s opinion. I believe that the planning of a project improves significantly when it has several creative minds working on it. We hold discussions on the main points and each project is led by a principal architect who contributes greatly to both planning and design.


TP: Triangular cut-outs play a large role in the look of the house’s exterior as well as creating interesting light patterns in the interior. Why did you use this triangle motif throughout the building?
I believe in creating a single language and one formal principle that is repetitive. For this project, we searched for a dynamic line that would accentuate the tension between the lower volume of the aluminium and the upper volume of concrete. The diagonal line lends dynamism and lights up the weight of the volume.


TP: Tell us about the bright blue walls of the bathroom in an otherwise white and neutral-toned home.
At times we like to create spaces that bring a smile to one’s lips. We like to blend something with a little warmth and a human touch into our minimalist architecture. We used the blue stone in the parents’ bathroom to create a dramatic and unique look that would create an unusual juxtaposition against the backdrop of the house.


TP: What is your typical design ethos?
I believe in a modernist language that serves the client, who is the user, and I love to use natural light to stir movement and drama into the contemplative language. I’m a great believer in staying true to a single idea and planning to a rigorous and readable design.