Location: 1-34 Yefet St.
client : Oz Investment L.T.D.
completion date :
design phase : 1991-2004
Jaffa , one of the most ancient cities in the world, whose remains can
be traced back to the second century B.C., has been destroyed and
rebuilt many times.
The development compound is located along the ditch at
the seam between the old and new city. The construction outside the old
city walls began in the middle of the 19 th century, under the Ottoman
rule when in a surge of urban development markets, administrative
buildings, the monasteries and transportation routes were constructed.
The objective of the new development plan was to
revitalize the compound, which was in a rundown state, while realizing
to the maximum the potential inherent in these beautiful buildings of
such historic value.
In contrast to the common conception, according to which the
building’s old façade is kept frozen and is
totally disconnected from the new content behind it, thus turning it
into a mere theatrical setting, here life was to be generated by
creating a clear functional link - a true dialogue between the
building’s newly designed interior and its existing exterior.
The idea was to create a dynamic urban area, where the existing
historic fabric is respected and preserved while newly built parts are
added, with a balanced spread of the new construction.
At the eastern boundary of the compound runs Yefet
Street, which gives the impression of a wadi, a
pattern that repeats itself in other ancient cities in the
Mediterranean region, such as Sienna or Venice, an impression I wanted
to preserve and enhance in the new development plan.
The buildings that run along Yefet Street are the most magnificent ones
left from the mid-nineteenth century. Their ceilings are high and
ornamental, the windows are arched, and the roofs are made of red clay
At the northern part of the compound, next to the clock
square, we find the “Gate House” complex, with the
ruins of the guard tower at the top. That house constitutes the main
entrance to the old city of Jaffa.
The “Gate House” complex, like the houses on
Hatsorfim street, is characterized by a “Casba”
fabric, having buildings with vaulted ceilings.