The Mendeli Street Hotel has been part of the Tel Aviv architectural landscape since the 1970s, but a couple of years ago, third-generation owners Irit and Eran Steinbach decided the monolithic concrete structure could do with a facelift. Baranowitz Kronenberg Architecture (BKA) took a chunk out of the Brutalist façade and replaced it with glass walls, giving a plaza feel to the inside as a result. That was just the tip of the iceberg for the renovation.
The owners have gone to great lengths to source items from local designers to add a boutique feel at the Mendeli. An example are the tables from Asaf’s Collection – salvaged tables and window shutters topped with glass and reinvented as tables. Some of them can be seen in the dining area, home to another of the hotel’s remarkable talking points. The “living wall” looks like it could pump out enough oxygen to make you dizzy from clear across the room, which is where I’d be sitting in case a couple of mutant tendrils came out and yanked me into the undergrowth. But that’s just me. We like modern flourishes and the Mendeli does them very well indeed, but it’s a traditional feature that puts the icing on the cake. A white wrought iron ceiling installation draws on the decorative aspects of Biblical Hebrew script, and variations on the design crop up throughout the hotel. Lovely stuff from BKA and the Steinbachs.