Ramat Gan, Israel, 1961-1963
The building is located in Ramat Gan, a northern suburb of Tel-Aviv. It is situated on a steep hill, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the Judean Hills.
The basic shape of the Dubiner House is an elongated hexagonal prism, composed of smaller prismatic hexagonal prisms. The building is seven floors high. The lower three floors follow lines of the site's topography through their boomerang shape and pyramidal build-up. The upper three floors project over the lower ones in overhanging layers. The top floor forms a bridge, anchoring and connecting the building to the hilltop. The lower and higher floors enclose an interior courtyard, a kind of landscaped piazza. It is here that stairs and bridge access to the apartments are freely arranged. The semi-enclosed courtyard creates a pleasant microclimate, being shady and cool in summer.
The two main ways of access to the Dubiner House from the upper and lower approach roads determine the circulation within the building, mainly through its courtyard. Private access to the apartments avoids complete separation by maintaining a visual connection with the surrounding.
Generally, the 330 sq meter area of each floor is subdivided into two or three apartments, designed throughout on a tridimensional hexagonal pattern. The characteristic feature of the apartments are the half covered, half opened polygonal terraces opening out and extending from the prominent rooms of each apartment.
Existing contemporary housing in Israel largely follows design patterns developed in other countries, unrelated to the Mediterranean conditions or its architectural heritage. By combining the local, Arab tradition of a flat roofed private house with the many advantages of an apartment as part of a communal set-up, the Dubiner House establishes new living conditions of greater complexity.
Alfred Neumann, Eldar Sharon