At 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth and an amazing natural wonder. To celebrate the salt sea, Sitbon Architectes designed a nature center inspired by the surrounding landscape. Completely encrusted in salt, the Cristal pavilion welcomes visitors to the Dead Sea and serves as a departure point for a variety of activities in the area.
The Dead Sea is located well below sea level – and it’s actually sinking and drying up – but still thousands of people flock to the sea to float in its waters and improve their health. To draw attention to this sensitive, endangered environment, Sitbon Architectes designed a nature and information center. Cristal would provide amenities for visitors and serve as a base center for paddle boarding, swimming, camel rides and much more.
The structure itself is designed to resemble a salt crystal and it features a covered open air area in the center. Access into the pavilion is provided via a series of steps, which are symbolic of the consequences of time and our actions. The pavilion is designed to be actually made with salt – metal frames will be constructed and embedded into the landscape and then salt will be encouraged to grow on the structure and eventually encrust it entirely. The pristine white facility will reflect its surroundings and serve as a physical reminder of the fragility of the area.
Sitbon Architectes’ Cristal pavilion recently won prizes for the “best competition entry” and also the “people’s choice winner” in the 2013 AZ Awards .
Images ©Sitbon Architectes