An ultra-modern manor

An architect's home in Kiryat Ono.

kryat ono home 88 298 (photo credit: Eyal Izhar)
kryat ono home 88 298
(photo credit: Eyal Izhar)
Architect Mark Topilsky built his home in Kiryat Ono with an eye on the future. "One of the most important aspects of the house was that it should be flexible," he says. "Today the children are small (six and three), but in 10 years' time they will have different needs - more privacy, less play area - so I built it in such a way that the inner space can be easily changed." The house has practically no pillars and the walls are plaster board. One red pillar in the center, painted to match the red sofa chair, seems to hold up the entire ceiling. The pillars are all outside and the construction is of steel and concrete. "The division of the inside is not dependent on anything," explains Topilsky. "I can put walls up, take them down. I could build 20 rooms if I wanted to." To facilitate any future changes, he had all the water and electrical pipes going through the ceiling, which is covered in plaster. Later, if a new wall is going to be built, there will be no need to move the pipes. Another aspect of the grand plan for the two-year-old house was that it should be a fun place for the children and a place to entertain family and friends, but that the easy-going, relaxed style should not compromise the family's desire for an aesthetic and beautiful home which would also be a showcase for Mark's work. "On the one hand the house is like a holiday hotel for the children," says Topilsky. "They have play areas inside and out, a deck full of toys, a sand pit and the pool. Wherever we sit we can see the children. We can sit in the family lounge while they play outside and we don't have to chase after them and look for them." For themselves, they built a separate guest lounge which the children never feel any need to use. This room has a low window through which the pool can be viewed, making it as much a work of art as a way to let in light. Italian furniture, an antique kellim rug on the blond oak parquet floor and several paintings by Yoav Ben-Dov complete the room. "At night we light up the pool and the view of it from the house is very dramatic," says Topilsky. The management of light is a very important factor in the design of the house. The windows are huge, letting in plenty of light, but the house is built in such a way that the warmth of the sun only penetrates up to a certain point. "The pergola is built on the south side, so it stops the burning sun from entering the house, only letting in light," explains Topilsky. "Through the large windows on the east side, next to the pool, the sun only shines until 10 in the morning." In several places he has put in skylights or hidden windows to allow even more light into the house. The kitchen, which he describes as his "kingdom," has a skylight the entire length of one wall as well as conventional windows. "If I hadn't been an architect I would have been a chef," said the 37-year-old Marc, smiling. The kitchen is truly a cook's dream, with pots and pans of all shapes and sizes suspended from the ceiling, and a center work island with a sink fitted with a garbage disposal unit. Clever use of space characterizes the house. The washing machine and dryer are fitted into a wall next to the stairs leading down to the studio; the under-the-stairs area has a cupboard to store the baby's buggy. Upstairs, a large bedroom has clearly delineated pink and blue sides for the son and daughter, but when the children get a little older a center wall can be easily added to separate them. Their own master bedroom is a minimalist study in black, white and gray with spots of color. The rounded ceiling is reflected in the curve of the zinc roof outside - "I don't like tiles," says Marc - and the floor of the large en-suite bathroom is white concrete. The bathroom is separated from the bedroom by simple sliding doors of glass and aluminum, the kind used for wardrobes. A gallery around the bedroom, reached by a white, spiral iron staircase, doubles as a study and home gym. The office and studio are reached by a separate side path, covered in gravel and "planted" with bright red iron flowers, also the work of Yoav Ben-Dov, a personal friend. Another work by the artist stands at the front door, a penguin from the CreoScitex Penguin Parade of 2001, which had once stood in Kikar HaMedina. Like the house itself, it combines sophisticated creativity with a sense of fun.