In 1994, it was decided to close down the sanitarium in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa, because the population of Holocaust survivors who constituted the beneficiaries of the rehabilitation program, funded by West German government war reparations, had by then outlived its purpose.
The developer chose Uri Blumenthal as architect and our firm was chosen to provide the landscape reclamation necessary after the complex was to be enlarged to nearly double in built area., and turned into a European style health spa-resort.
The basic landscape theme makes use of local stone craft as well as plant materials common to the Mediterranean mixed Pine-Oak woodland.The problem of increased parking within a small site was solved by building half overlapping levels of parking while avoiding the unsightliness of a bulky parking structure. The interior patio area was turned into an introspective semi-tropical garden with naturalesque koi ponds, making the most of the microclimate. The problem of extensive exposed roofs was treated as a Zen type gravel garden using various natural colored lava gravel from the Golan in a cubist arrangement in combination with low planters of herbaceous and small conifer shrubs. This provided an economical as well as visually acceptable solution to an otherwise major eyesore. The entry fountain of dressed and rough hewn local limestone, and the Italianesque colonnaded patio area which serve as an extension of the main dining hall, all serve as an appropriate backdrop for guests to relax and enjoy the breathtaking view of pine forest and the broad skies and Mediterranean Sea to the west.