The British top architect John Pawson has taken over an old monastery and neo-Romanesque hospital in Tel Aviv to turn it into a modern hotel.
The new and luxurious Hotel Jaffa has just opened its doors with the intention of becoming one of the most emblematic buildings of the city. The property has more than 4,000 years old, occupies several old buildings that have been delicately restored to house this five-star hotel of the Marriot’s The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts chain .
“The context of this complex architectural undertaking is a site of extraordinary historical and cultural richness, set on the crown of the ancient port city of Jaffa within the walls of the Crusader citadel, with views over the roofs of the old town to the sea, along the broad sweep of the beachfront and across to the skyscrapers, Art Deco, classical and modernist buildings of the Tel Aviv skyline” . Inside, John Pawson has created an atmosphere between magical and mystical, contrasting between the old and the new.
The restoration project was delivery to architect Ramy Gill and a team of experts who respected the philosophy of the emblematic buildings in which the hotel is located: a former neo-Romanesque hospital, a 19th-century French monastery, and a contemporary adjacent building.
Everywhere there are historical vestiges that take center stage in the rooms. In the modernist lobby designed by Pawson, there is, for example, a 13th-century bastion that was discovered during the excavations and has been preserved to dialogue with the modern furniture from such contemporary designers as Shiro Kuramata and Pierre Paulin and with modern art by Damien Hirst.
“Throughout the project, the aim has been to preserve and retune the existing historic and archaeological structures whilst also adding significant contemporary elements, creating a powerful new spatial narrative, charged with atmosphere and a seamless sense of place, plans and elevations flexing in response to the site walls and to key landmarks in the surrounding cityscape. ”
Photography: Amit Geron