Story of a Bench

Updated: Sep 19, 2018

Or: How to turn a problem into an advantage?

The bench framing the trees view outside the window. Photography: Itay Benit

From the first moment we stepped into this apartment in its previous condition, the main thing that got our attention was this huge window at the end of the living room, facing a line of high cypress trees that hide a very active playground, offering a continuous soundtrack of kids' laughter.


Like in many apartments in Tel Aviv, a city in which each square meters is worth approximately 15,000USD, the old balcony was appended into the living room in order to enlarge it. The first idea we had was to restore it and have a cute little balcony to sit and relax in at the end of a day, even if it means a smaller living room.

After a few versions for the apt. layouts, and consulting with the contractor, we decided to relinquish the traditional concept of a balcony and came up with an alternative. We looked for a solution to give us the benefits of a balcony - an “outdoorsy” vibe - without the downside of it - a potential of drainage issues, very small balcony which leaves a very tight fit to the dinning area in the living room.

As a young couple about to start a family, we have several needs - first of all, we need an extractable dinning table that would allow us to host dinner parties. The second was storage place, which you can never have too much of, and the third was not having a clutter and clustered feeling in the living room, that 8 dinning chairs can create.

The solution we found was perfect! A bench that:

A. Frames the view that made us like the apt. to begin with.

B. Allows a dinning table that can open up and host up to 14 people.

C. Underneath the sitting surface there's lots of storage space.

D. Bench with no back-rest isn’t blocking the view and creates a much more spacious look.

Me and Luka, our dog on some quality time, on the bench. Photography: Yonatan Weinreb.

Besides the practical advantages I elaborated on, the bench became a focal point of the house, Luka out dog loves to sit on it and watch the people on the street as they walk by. My husband and I enjoy sitting on it at the end of a day with a cup of tea / beer and it's now one of our favorite spots to hang out in the house.


Luka is watching the parking area and the street below, excited to see us coming back home. Photography: Efrat Weinreb

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WE Architects  //  +972-50-3331397 //  Efrat.Weinreb@gmail.com // © 2014 by Efrat Weinreb 

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