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Women’s Stories – A conversation with Talia Sandbank and Liron Barkai

August 3, 2023
Ph. Itay Benit

This week we are happy to host Talia Sandbank and Liron Barkai for a conversation about design, inspiration and craft.

Two women, architects, mothers and partners of a dream. Talia and Liron have been working with iota for a long time, integrating our products into their projects.

On projects of different scales, they manage to find the location where our products can shine and be relevant – to make a design impact, pay attention to details, and transmit softness and warmth.

We want to thank them for the accuracy and talent.

Ph. Itay Benit

Can you introduce yourself?

We, Talia Sandbank and Liron Barkai, are architects who approach our work with knowledge and enthusiasm for the architectural practice which brings a precise and complete result. In each project our goal is to create an architectural experience in space, an experience that will reflect the personal story of the users. We are both mothers of young children, and architects who are fulfilling their dream of practicing architecture and design, by assembling the puzzle called a house.

For us, each project begins with a unique concept that is reflected in the experience the architecture and design create in the space. We believe in dialogue with our customers, a dialogue essential to the process to achieve a successful and satisfying creation. The concept connects the client to the place and thus makes each project unique. The joint planning process allows us to make dreams come true.

Ph. Itay Benit

Tell us about your work. What field do you come from? And what are you doing today?

We believe that architecture and design are a way of life, not just walls and infrastructure to be built. Our job is to carefully identify the program through dialogue with our clients, and accordingly offer the built space they need. The success of each project depends on the clients’ trust in us and in the process, where the planning process is the beating heart of our work. Each program is a work of thought that produces its own personal and detailed story.

The firm deals with buildings and spaces, private homes, and luxury apartments, and on the public level – offices and educational buildings, projects of various scales. The firm’s uniqueness is in total design, down to the last detail. Our work is aimed at timeless architecture and seeks to achieve minimalism, harmony, and visual calm.

What is your inspiration? Or what gets you out of bed in the morning?

Our inspiration starts from nature, from the dialogue between the built environment and nature. Both in the connection to nature and in the formality and natural materiality. Our goal is to create a spatial experience that integrates with the nature around it, to ensure the entry of the green garden from every opening, to emphasize what is visible from every window, to combine natural forms, and natural and peaceful shades in every space.

How does craft and handicraft meet all this?

Planning and building a house is a process that includes many materials that combine harmoniously in the built space. Detailing the connections of the materials, both on the physical plane and on the spiritual plane, is a small-scale task that is carried out with a lot of thought and patience. Like handicrafts, home details require technique, sensitivity, and vision.

Handmade, as in nature, has a great material authenticity and sincerity that shapes the space.

We believe in material honesty, and in the use of natural materials in our architecture and design, wood, iron, natural stone, etc.

Ph. Itay Benit

Why did you choose to incorporate iota items in the project?

We choose to incorporate iota items in our projects out of great appreciation for the elegant design in its timeless style with natural and warm colors.
iota’s items reinforce the experience of layers of textiles and softness on the floor, and an invitation to slow down the pace of walking and sit down. Each mobile item that is added helps to create flexibility in the plan, it can be moved in the space, and used in several ways, creating an optimal spatial experience in our eyes.
A combination of unique items made by complex handwork, add a layer of texture, warmth, and experience to many projects in which the use of modern building materials is very present.
In addition to the strong design element, there is mutual social empowerment that we appreciate.

Tell us a story about a dream that came true for you. How did you make it happen?

One of the most important moments for us was the design of a three-dimensional element that left the drawing board for execution in a commercial exhibition space. An organic element with movement that dictates the spatial circulation and directs the user into and around the space. Thanks to the clients’ trust in the process and in us as the architecture of the project, an object was created that fulfils the dream and provides an important architectural experience in the space.

Recommendation for life \ Exhibition \ Album \ Motto \ What do I believe about you in designing a space?

Ask questions, observe and learn from simple everyday things. To find the main thing in each space and define its concept, to understand what kind of experience the space produces. The more conceptual and design precision there is in a space, the more easily it will be possible to achieve harmony between all the elements and items.

What are you working on these days?

The work in the office accompanies private and commercial projects from the planning stage to the end of the planning execution. We recently finished a wonderful office project and exhibition space that we have been working on for the past two years, at the same time as several private homes that are in advanced stages of execution. On the drawing table, they have some crazy projects brewing for them in the initial planning phase, which is a fascinating phase in which the identity of the project is analysed and the program that is unique to each project is studied.

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