The garden apartment that was renovated twice: why this time it was clear that they were going for smart home technology. The two main scenarios that were built for the tenants, and what questions were asked to build them perfectly. The architect Ofer Segas is a guest on our blog and answers all questions.

Architecture: Ofer Segas | Photography: Oded Smadar

Describe the nature of the project, in terms of scope, concept, design style, material choices.

“This is a garden apartment in Tel Aviv, which was planned and designed for clients for the second time. The first time was about 20 years ago and they came back and asked to redesign their apartment and update it in accordance with the changes that occurred in their family and their lifestyle. The emphasis in the planning was to connect the garden to the apartment and blur the transitions between the interior and the exterior. The materials chosen served to emphasize the idea: the flooring inside the house continued and became the flooring in the outdoor square, while the windows and showcases were expanded in it and increased in size, and assembled without blinds in order to blur the boundary between the inside and the outside.”

Architecture: Ofer Segas | Photography: Oded Smadar

At what stage of the project was it decided to go for a smart home, and what did this require of you at the planning level?

“Since this is the second time I am planning this apartment, it was decided to update the electrical, lighting and air conditioning systems and connect them to a smart home system. The idea was to enable the ability to control all these systems in a simple and convenient way. The tenants do this conveniently from inside the apartment and even outside it, using the Vitrea app. Various scenarios were programmed in advance according to their lifestyle and schedules, both in the lighting systems and in the air conditioning systems, such as entering and leaving the house, day and night scenarios, and more.”

Architecture: Ofer Segas | Photography: Oded Smadar

Architecture: Ofer Segas | Photography: Oded Smadar

What at are the reasons you chose Vitrea’s Smart Home?

“I have been working with Vitrea for many years and I know their systems that are getting more and more sophisticated over the years. For this project we chose the VTouch Pro wireless smart home system, but all of their systems are of a very high-level of reliability, and the support they provide throughout the project makes the whole process serviceable and experiential, for me as well and especially for the tenants. For me as an architect, the smart systems enable convenient and practical planning, and this is even more convenient without mentioning the impressive design aspect. For the customers, it mainly enables a simple user experience, which removes from you the need for manual and daily operation of all the systems in the house, which is the most important.”

Architecture: Ofer Segas | Photography: Oded Smadar


What is the most useful scenario in the garden apartment?

“There is no doubt – the most useful scenarios are lighting scenarios, opening and closing the house and controlling the air conditioning.”

Finally, share with us your tips for planning a smart home:

“The most important thing to do in the planning phase is to conduct a thorough acquaintance with the customers’ lifestyle and daily conduct: What amount of light do they like to wake up to in the morning? What time do they arrive home? What temperature would they prefer to come in? How many times a year do they fly abroad and need scenarios that create a presence at home? During the planning I go down to very high resolutions with them, and together with Vitrea’s support we build the various scenarios that suit them uniquely. In this garden apartment, we created two main scenarios: morning wake-up – controlling the amount of light entering the apartment by controlling the opening of the blinds, and a scenario for someone who was abroad – turning on the lights in the house and raising the blinds minimally for a few hours a day, then turning off and closing the house by pressing one button on the phone.”