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Meteoric Success, Local Spirit and Family Trees: The Awesome Offices of MyHeritage

Project name:
Meteoric Success, Local Spirit and Family Trees: The Awesome Offices of MyHeritage
Architecture firm:
Auerbach Halevy Architects
Or Yehuda, Israel
Uzi Porat
Principal architect:
Uri Halevy, Shani Hadad
Design team:
Uri Halevy, Shani Hadad
Built area:
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Karney Tchelet
Tools used:
MyHeritage, an Israeli tech company
Commercial › Office

MyHeritage is an Israeli tech company that developed a revolutionary data-merging algorithm and accompanying software to manage a global platform for discovering, preserving and sharing family histories. As is typical for startups on their way up, the company's first offices were located in a historic Templar building in the moshav of Bney Atarot. When that space became too small, the company's legendary founder Gilad Yefet turned to the Auerbach Halevy firm to design new offices for MyHeritage in a modern office building in Or Yehuda - marking the beginning of a wonderful friendship between the tech company and the architectural firm.

For over a decade now, MyHeritage has been growing relentlessly, adding more and more wings to its offices, with Auerbach Halevy continuously being called back to design them. A few weeks ago, the company inaugurated its third wing, now occupying nearly 5,000 square meters in the building. The phased work created an exceptional challenge for the architectural firm. Not only did they need to engage with the company's history of growing from a preserved building with heritage preservation at its core, but the architects also had to carry on a dialogue with their own previous work in the same workspace. Add to that the fact that MyHeritage sits in a modern office building, and the whole story gets complicated.

The evolution took place on two levels: On the design side, the finishing materials were gently modified and upgraded, while architecturally, the plans integrated advanced solutions for technology, teamwork, and post-COVID hybrid models. "When we design an office space that extends an existing workspace, we lead a fascinating process with the client where we invest a lot of thought together, focusing on the small details that impact the atmosphere and feel of the place, and how to provide employees with the most efficient and pleasant space to work. Should we continue the existing design line and preserve the current design, or move to a completely new design phase? How do we maintain the connection between the different spaces, so that the office remains an inviting place that generates productive work?" says Prof. Uri Halevy, partner at Auerbach Halevy Architects.

In the first wing, built 11 years ago, the spirit of the old place breathes through the use of white bricks and natural wood characteristic of the moshav landscape where they previously worked. In the second phase from 2018, new colors were added to the space, while the bricks and natural wood continued to line the corridors and rooms, creating continuity. 

Most recently, Auerbach Halevy's third encounter with MyHeritage was completed with the addition of a new 800 square meter expansion for about 50 more company employees. "In our design journey for MyHeritage, we immediately understood how important it was to preserve the homey, pleasant and warm atmosphere of the original space. Additionally, we wanted to refresh and advance a new vibe according to current design trends. So in expanding the office, we chose to keep the existing brick element in order to naturally connect the old space with the new, but upgraded it by adding a new reddish shade of bricks from demolitions, combined with metal beams that give a more industrial, loft-like look, while also reminiscent of the moshav landscape they came from," explains interior designer Shani Hadad.

And so at the heart of the office sits the core of meeting rooms, surrounded by private offices and a row of one-on-one rooms. Two central hubs contain lounge areas and kitchenettes, inviting places for informal meetings and social gatherings in a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere.

In addition to the fresh design, it was important for Auerbach Halevy to incorporate into the space the company CEO's love of art and historical reproductions that tie into MyHeritage's field of work, forming a significant part of the furnishing and lighting design. Their placement was carefully considered, adding uniqueness and depth to the new space.

By Alfredo Gonzalez

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