levin packer architects preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel

levin packer architects preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel

an old ottoman house in tiberias, israel, has been transformed by levin packer architects into a 120-room hotel overlooking the sea of galilee. designed with respect to the history of the place, the brief for ‘sofia hotel’ includes the restoration of the original structure and the addition of a new, contemporary building. 

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

preserved building – reception lobby

images by amit geron

 

 

the design of sofia hotel is guided by one main concept: to preserve the ottoman structure. with this in mind, levin packer architects has maintained the original structural proportions, utilized a minimal design language, and applied only one new material – brass – to complement and highlight the existing architecture. 

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

preserved building – double height lobby

 

 

during work on site, tiles from the late 19th century were found. while dismantling these tiles for the purpose of preserving them, a seal was discovered on the reverse with the name ‘damascus’ telling the whole story of the area during the ottoman period, when no borders existed and trade in the region flourished. the design team decided to draw attention to these tiles, making them the welcoming carpets in the lobby. in addition to these decorative floor tiles, the building’s basalt stones and dressed stone pillars have also all been retained. 

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

preserved building – double height lobby

 

 

the ground floor, which was originally used for commerce, has been turned into the main lobby area. here, the old architecture of the house is highlighted thanks to the preservation of the elegant ottoman arches and pillars. on the second floor, the original living space is now a luxurious spa area decorated by carrara marble pillars that have remained intact over the years. the soothing beds are laid out on the painted damascus tiles. from this main space, guests are welcomed to the spa facilities such as the turkish hammam, the sauna and the treatment rooms.

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

preserved building – reception lobby

 

 

the spa takes guests back in time with a traditional turkish hammam. the hammam is covered with carrara marble similar to the one from which the original pillars in the relaxation space are built.

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

preserved building – reception lobby

 

 

the rest of the functions, such as the dining room, the coffee bar, the wine shop, the conference halls and rooms are located in the new building that rides above the old one. this contemporary intervention is designed with simple lines and neutral materials in order to give focus to the old building. the dining room as well follows this clean and simple aesthetic. the space is divided by black stainless steel nets reminiscent of tiberias’s fishing nets, a very important feature of the history and present of the sea of galilee.

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

double height lobby

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

double height lobby

levin-packer-architects-sofia-hotel-israel-designboom-1800

preserved building – spa/rest area

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

preserved building – spa/hammam

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

preserved building – detail

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

new building – dining room

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

new building – dining room

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

rooms with view to galilee sea

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

en-suite bathroom

levin-packer-architects-sofia-hotel-israel-designboom-1800-1

preserved building – reception lobby

levin packer preserves an original ottoman structure for sofia hotel in israel designboom

preserved building – reception lobby

 

 

project info:

 

project name: sofia sea of galilee hotel

location: tiberias, israel

architect: levin packer architects

design team: rona levin, ruth packer, adela tzikinovsky, eyal rozen

project manager: alon even zohar

year completed: 2020

total area: 85035 ft2 (7900 m2)

photography: amit geron

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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