The Ramat Hanadiv Visiting Center located in Zichron Yaakov, Israel is a lovely low-lying structure that is buried underneath its own gardens. The multi-functional space enjoys insulation from the plants and the earth, but it also has a naturally daylit corridor in the center that pulls light into all the rooms. The visitor's center was designed by Ada Karmi-Melamede Architects in collaboration with Guy Teomi and Yuval Amitzi, and the landscape architecture was conceived by Amir Blum. Their objective was to design a building that would meet the goals of the nature park with the lowest possible impact.
Ramat Hanadiv is a nature park and garden in northern Israel that “plays a leading role in the management of natural and cultural resources based on sustainable interactions between man, nature and the environment.” The park started a green waste recycling program in 1994 to convert landscaping material into compost and serves as an example to gardeners and municipalities in the area. The gardens also feature a wastewater purification facility that treats its own wastewater and uses it for irrigation. The visitor center was completed in 2008 and is located between the parking lot and the vast gardens. Serving as the gateway to the park, the center extends approximately 150 meters in a curvilinear fashion and provides facilities for a diverse group of visitors. Located inside is an auditorium, classrooms, small courtyards, an exhibition space and a small cafeteria. Bermed on both sides by earth and vegetation, the center is heavily insulated against the sun and the weather. The two inclined landscape surfaces don’t quite touch in the center and a corridor, extending the length of the building, lets in natural daylight. Three passages cross the bermed building to allow entrance into the park and the visitor center. Ramat Hanadiv’s Visitors Pavilion was the first building in Israel to be granted standard certification for sustainable construction. Ada Karmi-Melamede Architects was awarded with the third prize in the Project of the Year Competition from Architecture of Israel Quarterly. + Ada Karmi-Melamede Architects + Ramat Hanadiv Via Plataforma Arquitectura Images ©Ada Karmi Melamede Architects