A Stone Cladding Villa That Serves As A Bridge Between Communities

Located in Israel, on the edge of two towns, one Arab and one Jewish, this house makes a powerful statement. It rises like a giant modern sculpture from the ground and yet it doesn’t overpower its surroundings.

Stone Cladding VillaView in gallery
The house features an infinity swimming pool with a panoramic view

Instead its stone-clad walls and overall aesthetic pay homage to the beautiful land that stretches all around it. This magnificent design is the creation of architect Dana Oberson and was just completed in 2021.

Stone Cladding In A Nutshell

Contemporary Stone Cladding Villa by Dana Oberson Architects - street

Natural stone is and has always been a popular building material. It comes from the earth and it’s rock solid which makes it ideal for exterior applications. At the same time, its natural and organic beauty and unique texture make stone a wonderful material in interior design as well.

Like any other material, natural stone comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Stone cladding is unique in a lot of different ways.

The advantages of natural stone cladding

  • natural stone has a unique and unparalleled beauty, a natural and timeless presence that no other material has
  • natural stone is extremely durable compared to other building materials and when paired with its long lifespan this translates into a recipe for success
  • you can find stone cladding in a lot of different colors and types so there’s something out there to suit every style
  • stone is a versatile material that naturally compliments a variety of other ones such as wood or concrete 
  • the versatility of natural stone also translates into a multitude of different applications besides exterior walls
  • natural stone cladding offers good insulation which in turn helps to reduce the heating and cooling costs throughout the year
  • stone is also naturally resistant to fire and to any and all weather conditions which makes it suitable for all climates and locations
  • houses with stone cladding require little maintenance 

The disadvantages of natural stone cladding

  • natural stone is more expensive compared to other building and cladding materials
  • stone cladding needs to be installed by a professional and is not a suitable DIY project
  • poor installation can lead to damage and moisture being trapped behind the stone cladding
  • the installation is labor-intensive and time-consuming which adds to the overall cost
  • stone cladding also requires a structural substrate and that means more work and a higher cost in the end
  • in order for it to last, stone cladding needs to be properly sealed for added protection
  • stone can easily be damaged by strong cleaning products and other substances

At the end of the day, these two lists are fairly similar in length so it’s really a matter of personal preference and financial power whether or not you choose stone cladding for a house or not. The aesthetics of course also play an important role in the decision-making process.

A Closer Look At This Stone-Clad Villa

The entrance is a double-height space which leads into a foyerView in gallery
The entrance is a double-height space which leads into a foyer

The house is two-storeys tall and measures 560 square meters in total. It occupies a lovely piece of land on a gentle slope with a nice view over the Neve Ilan forest and the Mediterranean Sea. It was important for the design to take advantage of these elements which is why there are no railings or walls that obstruct the views.

Contemporary Stone Cladding Villa by Dana Oberson Architects - living

As mentioned before, the villa stands between two towns of different religions orientations. This puts it in a unique position, one that’s meant to serve as a bridge between the two communities.

The general idea behind this project was to show respect for the neighbors and for the environment in general. Also, the architect made a conscious effort to create balance and to help the house integrate into the surroundings as organically as possible.

Outside, the local vegetation organically merges with the houseView in gallery
Outside, the local vegetation organically merges with the house

This is where the stone cladding comes into play. The stone is locally-sourced and is naturally found in the beautiful landscape that surrounds the house. At the same time, the stone is a symbol of history which has now been embedded into the walls of the house.

The house's modern design capitalizes on the beautiful viewsView in gallery
The house’s modern design capitalizes on the beautiful views
The stone floor makes the transition between the living room and the deck feel seamlessView in gallery
The stone floor makes the transition between the living room and the deck feel seamless
 
The dark and muted colors of the interior design complement the stone wallsView in gallery
The dark and muted colors of the interior design complement the stone walls
The limited use of oak cladding and glazed surfaces prevent the stone from becoming overpoweringView in gallery
The limited use of oak cladding and glazed surfaces prevent the stone from becoming overpowering

The material palette chosen for this project is mainly inspired by natural and by the surrounding landscape. On the outside, the natural stone helps the building blend into the slope and adds texture to its design. Unrefined stone slabs used as flooring connect the exterior and interior of the house, creating a smooth transition.

The terraced decks give a glimpse at the beautiful landscape unfolding in front of the houseView in gallery
The terraced decks give a glimpse at the beautiful landscape unfolding in front of the house
This is the bridge which connects the mater suite to the rest of the bedroomsView in gallery
This is the bridge which connects the mater suite to the rest of the bedrooms
Strategically-placed windows and openings bring the indoor areas closer to the surrounding outdoor spacesView in gallery
Strategically-placed windows and openings bring the indoor areas closer to the surrounding outdoor spaces

Contemporary Stone Cladding Villa by Dana Oberson Architects - bedroom view

Contemporary Stone Cladding Villa by Dana Oberson Architects - bathroom

Contemporary Stone Cladding Villa by Dana Oberson Architects - kitchen island

Contemporary Stone Cladding Villa by Dana Oberson Architects - wall

The lack of railings offers an unobstructed view over the entire surrounding areaView in gallery
The lack of railings offers an unobstructed view over the entire surrounding area

Inside, the house is decorated with exposed concrete ceilings, burnt oak walls, a beautiful iron staircase and a gorgeous black basalt floor in the living room. The windows are large and let the views and the landscape become a part of the interior while also facilitating the transition towards the outdoor sections of the house. An open terrace ending in a large infinity pool bring the indoor and outdoor even closer together.