Location: 21 Harakevet St.
completion date : 1978
The House around the Lemon Tree
The home of the writer David Schutz was built in a
typical Jerusalem neighborhood, where beautiful stone buildings were
constructed in the early twentieth century.
I was asked to plan a new addition to the old small
building and the courtyard adjacent to it.
At the center of the courtyard there stood a lemon tree
that played a significant role in the planning process.
The planning and creation of the outdoor space on the
plot was conducted simultaneously with the planning of the new
addition. The objective was to ensure that the lemon tree, which
inspired the building’s atmosphere, would have the living
space it needs to continue to flourish.
To establish that, I walked back and forth in the courtyard together
with the owner, until we felt we have found precisely
the right size for the patio. Such of a planning process enables to
discern that even a diversion of 10cm could make a major change in the
feeling of this patio. I marked the boundaries of the courtyard with
red chalk, and those became the boundaries of the new building addition.
The living room and the kitchen were located in the old
two beautiful rooms with their vaulted ceiling and thick stonewall
facing the courtyard.
Alcoves that had been walled in over the years were reopened. The
stone, which framed the internal doors and the alcoves and had been
plastered over the years, was exposed.
The master bedroom and study were located in the new building addition.
The entrance hall connected the old and new.
An open stairway led from the courtyard to the
building’s roof, a pattern that was widespread in
Mediterranean building tradition. The roof that traditionally served as
sleeping quarters on hot summer nights and for the drying of spices,
was converted into a roof terrace with a view of the courtyard and vine
trellis on the sides.
The language I used for the new addition was an echo of the
architectural language that was an age-old tradition of stone buildings
in Jerusalem, defined by the nature of the stone, having an inherent
language of connection and details.