HOUSE O
Eco-house in the Jerusalem Mountains

Location - Har-Adar

Site Area - 530 m²

Built Area - 265 m² 

Exploring contemporary interpretations of local building techniques and tradition, the environmentally friendly house on the rocky mountain slopes of Jerusalem, is a combination of past and present. This family residence overlooks an open valley on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The design approach focuses on articulating a contemporary approach to the local stone construction tradition, materials and methods.

According to local zoning laws, no less than 70% of a building's facades is to be cladded with local ‘Jerusalem Stone’. This prerequisite was implemented in the development of the architectural and structural layout manifested by two cubical stone structures inter-connected by a white space. The space enclosed by the central white cube serves as a circulation axis and contains the entrance hall, kitchen and an enclosed staircase leading to the lower level. The local Jerusalem Stone was implemented as wall cladding throughout its interior.

The high-ceiling living area facing the valley is located in one of the stone cubes while the bedrooms are located in the other. A self-contained living unit with its own private open-air patio, is located at the lower level.

The climatic characteristic of the mountainous Jerusalem area ranges from hot, sunny summers to snowy winters, thus adequate energy-efficient climatic solutions have been implemented. The house is naturally ventilated. air-circulation and hot air emission is supported by large openings in the stone façade and a series of electrically-controlled linear openings between walls and ceiling. This configuration provides a constant cooling mountain breeze during the hot summer days with a stable ambient temperature below 25˚C. Heating is provided by geothermal energy. The traditional triple-layered massive exterior stone walls (70cm-90cm thick) provide adequate thermal insulation during the hot summer days and cold winters.

© Toledo Lifschitz Architecture & Design, 2019