Sustainable Desert Home
Ovnat, Israel
Photographer: Aviad Bar Ness

The Desert Home has breathtaking views in the Israeli desert.  It is located on a narrow strip between the Judean mountains and the Dead Sea.

The form of the house was created by carving outdoor, covered spaces from the rectangular building volume. The exterior stucco responds to the color of the hills and a dark, rust finish was used for recessed areas. Light, sun-bleached, sand stucco was used for the outer surfaces. The house is sustainable, energy-efficient, and blends in with the surrounding desert.

The home was envisioned as a place for the clients, an older couple and the parents of the architect, to have quiet life of study, writing, and family. They wanted a simple, eco-friendly home. The walls are thick and heavily insulated. The windows are designed to offer coverage from the sun with additional room-darkening roller shades that are used to avoid solar gains. A solar system was installed on the roof for hot water.

The home features sun-drenched rooms that take in the colors of nature and echo off the beautiful, minimalist white walls. The upper level is the owners’ sleeping quarters while on the lower level contains a large library as well as an independent apartment for guests. The apartment will have a focus on the grandchildren. The owners chose to reuse much of their existing furniture to avoid unnecessary consumption.

The windows were carefully placed to frame and capture the breathtaking views of the Dead Sea and the mountains on the west. The indoor and outdoor spaces create a seamless flow. They include a covered entry patio, a walled-in balcony, and a large outdoor hosting terrace that is located off the living room. Continuous floor tile covers the entire house and yard. This creates a seamless indoor-outdoor experience.

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