Beauty and enjoyment in design

 Architect Joel Jospe  (photo credit: Sarit Habib)
Architect Joel Jospe
(photo credit: Sarit Habib)


“We have a limited life span, so it is central to enjoy and most importantly to have fun,” Architect Joel Jospe, founder and owner of Joel Jospe Architects recently told The Jerusalem Post. 

This is the motto that Jospe lives and works by. 

His firm, established in 1982, made its mark in designing large projects such as buildings and shopping centres, though today his focus is mainly on designing luxury villas. 

“In the past we took on large projects, but I always really enjoyed designing villas, where life takes place, and so today we’ve shifted to focus on luxury villas at a very high standard,” he said. 

“For me architecture is to design a place to live. Quality is very important, but I don’t design just for the look, it is not a statue,” he said. 

“When you see our villas from the outside you want to go inside because it sparks curiosity and when you go inside you want to stay,” he added.

Jospe said that what brings his designs to life are the textures, the proportions, and the harmony of each villa. “This is what ultimately brings joy to people - harmony, friends, and the good life.”

In the past few years, Jospe has also taken on designing retirement homes, a move he calls a “natural evolution.”

“When I look at the picture of my life, everything happens naturally. I’ve always designed places for people to live and now, that I am not a boy, I started to design very large retirement homes,” he said. “I bring everything that I have accumulated over the years to design the best way of living and quality of life.”

He added: “I do not bring the standard of institutions, I bring all that I know to design a place for people to live - I add a lot of color, humor, light, and plants - all for the good life because they have many years ahead of them.”

Jospe said he sees himself, not as an architect of institutions but “an architect of life.”  

As such, when the coronavirus pandemic struck, Jospe said he initially believed it would disrupt the natural harmony and flow of daily life.

“We realized it was inevitable that our employees would have to work from home,” he said. “At first we thought it was going to be a problem. But it wasn’t such a terrible thing. We quickly saw that even when we work from home the work gets done.”

He said that even prior to the pandemic, his office never required the employees to come into the office and “punch a clock.”

“This was my outlook before the corona,” he said. “I believe you need to accomplish you work, doesn’t matter how long it takes or from where.”

In fact, as time went by Jospe said he began to see the benefits of working from home. 

“Life became calmer. When I wake up in the morning I don’t have to rush into the office. Due to the corona, we could suddenly really see our surroundings. You go for a walk and suddenly you see the flowers, the sky, and you listen to music and in all the chaos the world is calmer,” he said.

As such, he said his office has strengthened this work ethic. 

“All of my employees can now work from home or the office. Life has become dynamic as we understand that you can work remotely - the home or the office, now it is all the same,” he said.

Another inevitable trend, he said, was the transition to Zoom calls. 

“In the past 95% of our meetings were face-to-face and since the pandemic nearly all of our meetings have transferred to Zoom,” he said. “Initially it was because we had no other choice, but today it has become comfortable. We don’t have to drive to meetings, we find it is just as effective with our clients and so I think this is another outcome that is going to stay with us.”

Jospe said that the coronavirus pandemic also brought a lot more work for architects.

“I predicted this. At one point I thought there will be a very high demand for private houses so that in future lockdowns people won’t be stuck in a small apartment but can have a home with a garden to breathe fresh air,” he said.  “This is exactly what happened. Demand for private villas is soaring. Though, so too is demand for smaller houses.”

Even those who cannot afford to buy a private home are now looking to renovate.

“This is not a temporary fad, but it has become the norm of our lives,” he said. “We want our home to be a place where we can wake up and stay there and work.” he said. 

“The house has become a place that provides answers for many activities that we used to do outside the home,” he added.

Looking beyond architecture, Jospe, who is also a world-renowned artist, said the pandemic accelerated processes that would have happened naturally in all areas of life. 

“What is very obvious, is that the coronavirus caused us to distance from people, cause people to spend more time alone, and this has had an influence on all our lives,” he said. “Now we are seeing the virtual world developing alongside our real world.”

Jospe said that unfortunately the virtual world is providing life experiences without the need for contact with other people.

“The coronavirus accelerated this trend. Today the screen lets people feel and experience anything they want, anywhere they want to be,” he said. “What does this have to do with architecture? The houses that we will plan will have to allow for this need.”

Though he said, it could possibly evolve even further. 

It could be that soon architects will begin designing projects for the virtual world.  “You want to live in a beautiful, secluded villa?  You can do it on the computer,” he said. “Like NFTs, people will be able to buy fantasy homes virtually.”

Yet, despite all the promise and potential for the future, Jospe said he personally regrets that people are becoming more distanced.

“I think that the most important thing for all people in the world is to be happy, not to mention having good health,” he said. “I see design as a tool to bring people this good life. The villas we design are very beautiful, but the real fun is in living in them.” 

This article is taken from The Jerusalem Post Annual Executive Magazine 2021-2022. To read the entire magazine, click here.

This article was written in cooperation with Joel Jospe