Nestled in a luxurious neighborhood in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, Israel, a newly constructed three-story home is a showcase of Halila limestone - a material known in the U.S. market as “Antique Gold.” The design objective for the residence was to create an open contemporary environment, while at the same time, developing a warm homey atmosphere.
“The proportions of the lot are long and rectangular,” explained Ron Yahal, who was the project architect along with Limor Yahal. “The structure was designed so that the front of the house is narrow, in order to provide a sense of proportion to the narrow street. The back of the house is longer and faces a yard with a patio.”
According to the architect, the Halila quarries - located in an area between Hebron and Jerusalem - consist of numerous stone layers, which have various properties and colors. “The stone for this project was carefully selected during the production process at the Jerusalem Marble A. Grebelsky & Son factory,” he explained. “A dry mock-up was prepared by the factory in order to ensure that the end result would be satisfactory by the client.”
“The acid wash is functional since it brings out the original color of the stone after the sandblasting,” said Yahal. “The major advantage in this finish is having a non-slip texture on one hand, and on the other hand, having a soft pleasant texture for walking barefoot. The use of natural stone in this finish around the swimming pool creates a beautiful, warm, unique look.”
Yahal went on to say that the honed finish was created by re-polishing the limestone floor tiles after the installation was complete, to achieve a clean contemporary style rather than a rustic feel. The limestone tiles were installed without grout, but with epoxy adhesive in the joints.
In addition to the large-format Halila limestone tiles in the main living areas of the home, the same material was used in 8- x 8- and 16- x 16-inch pieces in the bathrooms. Moreover, a feature staircase is made of 1 ¾-inch-thick slabs of Halila limestone, with a honed finish on the face of the tread as well as the exposed edges.
According to the architect, one of the most challenging aspects of the design was developing a balance between the expansiveness of the residence and its warm inviting atmosphere. Additionally, it was important to provide privacy for the homeowners, while also creating maximum openness to the view and continuity between the house and the backyard.
“The distinctiveness in the use of limestone in this modern-style home is that the limestone is not solely limited to rustic or antiqued looks, and it can just as well complement contemporary homes,” said Yahal.
Sidebar: Private ResidenceTel Aviv, Israel
Architects: Ron and Limor Yahal
Stone Quarrier/Fabricator: Jerusalem Marble A. Grebelsky, Jerusalem, Israel