This hotel resort project, strategically located at the footbridge junction between the North Shore of Eilat’s Red Sea Coast and the man made lagoon and promenade built in the 1970’s. KESEM and Bruce Levin collaborated with California landscape architect Don Brinkerhoff of Lifescapes, as well as architect Shlomo Gertner (Gertner, Komet, and Gibor) , in creating the theme based on the story of the Queen of Sheba’s voyages up the Red Sea to visit her lover, King Solomon. The long 10 by 50 meter pool is surrounded by classically arranged tribunals, creating a regal “Forum’ and sports arena where sun bathers and swimmers relax rather than the gladiators and spectators of old.
Ancient design motifs include Egyptian Lotus, as well as Cannanite and Mesopotamian relief’s. Paving carpets of multi-colored limestone were brought from Delhi, India. Trees include Date Palms, Washingtonia Palms, Royal Flame Tree as well as semi-tropical shrubs and vines.
This project was most difficult in the tedious coordination required in creating a complex garden and pool complex on structure above a shopping and commercial center. Planting is done in concrete wells which are connected to drainage and irrigation through a system of double flooring. Planter mixes using both perlite and lava gravel are designed for special structural and drainage requirements. All planters are lined with polyethylene sheeting which has been factory welded to fit each planter well.
The tots pool is covered with a spherical concrete pergola which repeats itself around the site, and in smaller scale on the balconies of the upper suite, giving a Taj Mahal appearance to the structure. A front entry features leads pedestrians up a double balustrade stairway covered by spherical pergola in whose center, is a series of water falls, culminating in a stoned carved pool reminiscent of the Ethiopian and Somalian earthen architecture of the Queen of Sheba’s homeland.