Alex Meitlis’s House in Savion Heralds Mediterranean Minimalism
Completed in January, 2011, in Savion, right outside Tel Aviv, Israel, Alex Meitlis’s ‘Savion House’ is a noble white vessel sailing across an ocean of deep natural green. It is also a perfect illustration of the rising trend in contemporary architecture that one might dub minimalist Mediterranean. The 420 square-meter single-family home ideally combines program and location, as its sleek straight lines blend in and out of the scenery of the 2,100 square meter plot of land on which it is located. The exterior is defined by a crisp white exterior, bordered by dynamic walls, whose height varies from one point to the next, allowing natural light to fully penetrate and warm the home, or screening it. The canopies, shrubbery and trees also serve as screens for the interior, and their wild, sprawling character is maintained, so as to minimize the structure’s impact on the location. There is a wooden verandah with a deck and a pool outside, as well as an external staircase, which enriches the home’s layered feel.
Inside, it’s all warm woods, combining with neutral whites and beiges, so as to achieve a relaxed, leisurely southern mood, and to offset the extensive art collection. The generous view from bedroom expands out on to the wooden deck that leads to the pool, so that the channels of communication between indoors and outdoors remain constantly open. There are natural ventilation tubes built into the walls, ample curtain-window walls and a single perfectly circular window, which renders the home reminiscent of a docked ship. On the ground floor there is a continuous open plan living-cum-dining area, plus the contemporary furbished kitchen. The low-profile free-standing wood partition generates the home’s main spine, as well as a jarring dramatic effect, which prepares the visitor for the encounter with the art collection. The windows that open onto the terrace and garden are operable, further improving the dialog between inside and out. Alex Meitlis, educated in Israel and trained in London, has been running his own design studio for nine years and simultaneously acted as a senior lecturer at Israel’s leading schools of architecture and design. He has received repeated accolades for his outstanding work in the field and is acknowledged as one of Israel’s most influential designers.