In This Modernist House Water Creates A Dazzling Effect

Rarely have we seen a house use water in such a dynamic way. Built in 2013 by Pitsou Kedem Architects and located in Tel Aviv, Israel, it has been given the rather apt name of “Float House”.

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Indeed, water is such an obvious feature of the house that it feels important to look into the design as a whole, because it really is does stand out among modern style homes.

Modernist house tel aviv architect pitsou kedem - frontModernist house tel aviv architect pitsou kedem - patio

Even before setting foot in this contemporary style home, there is a clear sense of the copious amount of thought that has gone into it.

The wooden slats which separate the inner space from the street beyond are a really fine way of blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors and public and private (while, incidentally, bringing to mind the border of another house we covered very recently, the Yeo House).

Modernist house tel aviv architect pitsou kedem - patioModernist house tel aviv architect pitsou kedem - back pool

Meanwhile, the interior design has been executed with real finesse. There is a consistent palette of light grey, white, and brown tones, capped off by some beautiful free-standing rock sculptures, which seem to absorb all these colours in one place. Such a simple palette really lends a freshness to the overall space.

Ok, with that out of the way, we can return to the most striking element of the contemporary home design: the sense that it is floating in an almost perceptible pool of water. From certain angles it does indeed look as if its floating delicately and pool of still water.

Take for instance the inner courtyard, overlooked by three of those wooden grill walls. Here, the water’s effect is enhanced by the consistent use of basalt for both the large stepping stones and the border of a set of stunted trees. Such a composition gives the impression that the trees have been pictured only momentarily in that position, and will continue idly floating in the pool in which they sit.

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The same floating effect is carried on in the part of the garden overlooked by the central living area and the bathroom, with a massive, still pool stretching across several square meters. Sat in the bath tub looking out into the garden must be a rather bracing experience, creating the sense of being in a distinctly fluid setting.

Modernist house tel aviv architect pitsou kedem - back poolModernist house tel aviv architect pitsou kedem - back pool

Another side effect of all this water is that it subtly complicated the relative minimalism of the home’s design. The clear reflections produced by the pools always slightly disturbed, allows the neat, straight lines to curve in peculiar ways. It’s certainly something we’d like to see more often.