The house is located in an old neighborhood of Jerusalem on a sloping terrain facing the Old City. The area abides by strict zoning regulations for preservation, which were implemented to control height, mass, skyline, fenestration, and cladding stone details. Each and every house in the vicinity is landmarked and thus, we had to shape the interior space within the old, thick stone bearing walls and accept the existing openings with limited light penetration.
Therefore, the architectural intervention was predetermined - to design a new house within an old house that had a fixed entry location. Four new floor levels were created inside the preserved exterior envelope and the functions organized from ground to sky, in the direction of dark to light. The studio/playground occupy the basement level, three bedrooms on the floor above, a kitchen/dining/master bedroom on the entrance level, and study/living area on the upper most level. The challenge within the volume of all four levels, was to find a way to introduce light so it could gravitate from top to bottom and accentuate the change in the levels, as one moves room to room through the house.
This was achieved by carving out the vertical circulation at the center of the house and by the offset of the stairs between floors. Direct and indirect light flowed in unison with the path of the stair, bouncing and reflecting between the different levels.
A light and airy interior was created in contrast to the thick and heavy presence of the surrounding stone walls.