Fusion in Savyon

This sun-filled and elegant home combines contemporary style and Feng Shui principles.

Villa in Savyon (photo credit: Uriel Messa)
Villa in Savyon
(photo credit: Uriel Messa)
I f there is an Israeli aristocracy one could count among it the owners of this beautiful villa in Savyon. They are both active in public life and both husband and wife work ceaselessly for the betterment of Israeli society. The wife is also extremely busy with voluntary activities as well as running a successful business.
When they decided to build a villa in Savyon 13 years ago they asked a friend, Ada Carmi, which architect she recommended. She in turn suggested they ask Danish-born Ulrich Plesner to design their home, and together they worked closely with the architect to produce their sun-filled and elegant home.
The architect had never designed a private home, having worked mostly on public buildings, theaters and concert halls. In 1993 he designed Beit Gabriel on the shores of Lake Kinneret, and for several years was chief architect of the Jerusalem Municipality.
“Our home is the first one he built in Israel,” says the owner. With his Danish background and experience working in Sri Lanka, the home could be considered a fusion of contemporary style and Feng Shui principles.
“We wanted the inside to be connected to nature and in fact the beauty of the gardens is visible in most rooms in the house,” says the owner. “There is also access to the gardens from every room, even the bedrooms,” she adds.
A reflecting pool comes within 20 centimeters of the house, almost lapping against the wall of the impressive entrance hall. Around the window a wooden trellis adds its reflection to the outside wall and to the stone floor of the entrance.
This is not just a place to hang your hat. A long refectory-style table extends the length of the room, standing on an even longer hand-woven Persian carpet. Works of art are featured here, including a bronze sculpture perched on a railway sleeper.
The paintings are all by Israeli artists.
“I truly believe Israeli art is best for Israeli homes,” says the owner, “and I want to reflect Israeli artistic achievement in my house.”
FROM THE door of the lobby one looks down a long flight of shallow stairs straight into the living room.
“You can see the whole length of the house standing at the top of these steps and looking down,” says the owner. “It’s basically a one-floor home with a slightly lower level.”
The lounge is divided into two sections. One is used for entertaining and features leather furniture in shades of brown and gray, and off-white linen chairs around a rectangular coffee table with a log-burning fireplace and many more Israeli paintings on the walls.
On the other side is a reading corner and library with a comfortable chaise longue and a Jan Rauchwerger painting on the wall.
The kitchen is a very important room and is suitably beautiful. The owner loves to cook and entertain and for her it’s the busiest room in the house and is warm and welcoming. Made entirely of a light wood, it has plenty of work space, storage and an eat-in corner. Straw basket containers for fruit and vegetables in the island add an attractive touch.
Just off the kitchen is a patio with a barbecue corner, and the family often eats out here, too. For more formal dinners the dining room is nearby with a long polished wood table seating 16 which came from Sri Lanka, and very comfortable chairs in soft green-gold velvet, which matches the low-hanging light fittings. The picture on the wall is of a bamboo forest in Japan, taken by the husband, whose hobby is photography. Outside is a Japanese garden with a wood carving from Thailand directly outside the window leading to the balcony.
The master bedroom is surrounded by windows and views of the garden on two sides. To the right they can look out at an antique plow from the Far East, palms and luxuriant bougainvillea, while in front they can access the back garden and their personal pool and Jacuzzi. The room includes a sitting and reading corner. The attractive bedspread is a Ralph Lauren design.
Finally the study, a quiet retreat full of books looking onto the tranquil pool, shows a photo of fishermen in the Amazon, also taken by the owner on his travels. The home is an expression of its cosmopolitan sensibilities yet is firmly rooted in Israeli soil.