Modern Cave – Historic Jaffa Apartment Gets a Contemporary Makeover

Suitably titled Modern Cave, this project can be found in Jaffa in the region of Tel-Aviv-Yafo, Israel. The property has functioned as a dwelling for hundreds of years.


Over time it has been modified a refined, with the latest intervention being directed by Pitsou Kedem Architects. They’re refurbished the property with a focus on maintaining its history and taking advantage of its spectacular location.

Modern Cave - Pitsou Kedem Architects - Israel - 0 - Humble Homes


At 1,076.39-square-feet (100-square-meters) the property is on the large side for an apartment. Carving a home out of rock has lead to living spaces with rooms that are offset from one another and accessed through thick arched openings. Pitsou Kedem Architects had the challenge of uniting these rooms and creating a sense of continuity throughout the home.

Prior to the renovation, Modern Cave was quite cave-like – the space was dark and poorly lit. It was a priority for the designers to resolve this by opening the living spaces up to the sea views and drawing in much more natural light. Other features, like the ceiling arches and domes, were previously covered in with plaster.


Modern Cave - Pitsou Kedem Architects - Israel - 1 - Humble Homes

The main dome, found in the kitchen, was revealed and returned to its former glory. A new “raw” concrete floor was poured to help resolve and reduce the difference in floor levels between sections of the home. Rooms have been left open to one another throughout, promoting the idea of an open-plan and flowing layout.

The very back of the home contains a snug with a study and a bathroom. Leading on from this you’ll find a dining room followed by the kitchen/living room. The bedroom can be accessed from the kitchen, while the living room provides access to an exterior terrace that overlooks the sea.

Modern Cave - Pitsou Kedem Architects - Israel - 31 - Humble Homes

From the architects: “The newly integrated spaces are not closed with doors, but left open – allowing views to the sea from each one of them. Hence, in the absence of a hallway they serve both their designed function and for passing through. The openings connecting them are emphasized with black tin sheet.”

For more apartments check out this contemporary apartment redesign from Poznan. Or, this micro-apartment from New York City by MKA. See all apartments.

Photos © Amit Geron

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. Looks interesting from the pictures, but I wonder how it is in reality (read: how practical is it in everyday use)?

    Little archway, is that for a dog/cat to walk through? Seems to me that this kind of layout leaves it wide open to draughts throughout the entire structure if the front door is left open.

    Indeed, can’t even determine where the doors are in the floorplan picture provided.