Yoo and me

Among some of the tallest buildings in the city, the Yoo towers were designed by famous French designer Philippe Starck.

Interior design inside Yoo towers (photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
Interior design inside Yoo towers
(photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
Coming into Tel Aviv from the north, the two Yoo Towers loom over the horizon.
Among some of the tallest buildings in the city – they come in at No. 9 on Wikipedia’s list of tall buildings in Tel Aviv – they were designed by famous French designer Philippe Starck.
The public areas – entrance foyer, basement reception rooms and health club – are all in his recognizable luxurious style, made with some of the most expensive materials known to the construction industry.
Building began in 2004 and was completed in 2007. The project contains some of the wealthiest homes in Israel, with plenty of celebrities among the residents – including, it is whispered, Bar Refaeli. But it also offers more modest apartments for the less than super-rich, such as the one pictured here.
Designed by architect Tal Tamir, who has an office in Ra’anana, it belongs to a family that lives in the South but needed a pieda- terre in Tel Aviv. The owner, a businessman, comes often to the Center to conduct meetings, occasionally in the apartment itself; he also wanted a place to use as a family holiday home.
So, although the apartment is relatively small, it is fully equipped to welcome the entire family when necessary – with a working kitchen and comfortable lounge.
Situated on the fifth floor, the design is classic and practical.
“There are no gimmicks,” says Tamir, who had an office in Tel Aviv for over 20 years before moving to Ra’anana, and was chosen to do the apartment via a friend’s recommendation.
“The concept was to create a place which a family could use, but also something which would suit a man on his own,” she explains.
Oak parquet floors were used throughout the apartment and much of the furniture is also made of wood, to give warmth which otherwise might be lacking – as most of the colors are neutral. What she calls “greige” – a very neutral blend of gray and beige – seems to dominate.
“It’s not a big space, so we chose furniture with legs to lift it up rather than have it placed directly on the floor, to increase the feeling of lightness,” says Tamir.
The super-modern kitchen was made by Bulthaup, a German company, and all the cabinets open by touch so no handles spoil the streamlined look. The gas hob and sinks are set into the island to save space, and the ventilator ensures the air stays fresh in the sitting room next to the kitchen.
Sinks throughout were made of natural stone. The bar stools that fit neatly under the island are in the same greige color as the sofa, made of bentwood and metal. They came from Habitat, a classy design store in Herzliya Pituah.
The owner is an audio enthusiast and listening to music is very important to him, so top priority was given to bringing in a superior sound system. The large unit enclosing the storage for the audio and loudspeakers covers an entire wall, and is white – as are all the walls in the apartment. It holds the television screen and an air-conditioning unit, while in the lower section with the louvered doors is storage for books and discs.
For sitting and listening to his music, the comfortable, wide sofa with the array of different- sized cushions is ideal. The sofa is perched on a thin, woven cotton rug in off-white.
Off the salon is a small balcony with a wooden deck floor and easy chairs, where the owner can sit and enjoy the bustle of Tel Aviv five flights above the ground.