The Israeli duo, L2 Tsionov-Vitkon Architects in association with architect Ofir Nahum has shared with us their entry to the Agamon Hakhula Visitor Center Competition, which has been awarded second prize. More images and a description from the architects after the jump.
Agamon Hula The Agamon Hula was for centuries a shallow lake, that hosted a large variety of fauna and flora. The lake was located in the Hula Valley, north to the sea of Galilee. In the 1950s, the valley’s scenery changed dramatically, due to the draining of the lake and its surrounding wetland. The draining operation led to the first major environmental struggle in Israel, which led to the founding of The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and to the declaration of the Hula Valley as the first nature reserve in Israel.
Following this, parts of the valley began to be re-flooded in the early 1990s by the Jewish National Fund in cooperation with other bodies. The re-flooding took place in areas that were formerly part of the swamp, creating the artificial water body called the Hula Lake. The flooding resulted in re-appearance of many migratory birds, such as flocks of gray cranes, that now come to the area in the spring and fall.
Design Concept | A preliminary taste of the lake The Hula Lake Visitor Center offers a maximal exposure to nature, in the sensory, mental and physical levels. The proposed concept ensures physical and mental closeness of the visitor to the water, the vegetation and the animals in a concentrated manner. The visitor center enriches the experience of the visit to the lake by imparting knowledge and curiosity towards the visit outdoors.
Architecture The Visitor Center is a minimalistic building. Its main purpose is to mediate the lake and its surrounding to the visitors. The building’s contour frames the natural landscape and allows the visitors to have a concentrated experience of the lake. The architectural frame emphasizes the natural surroundings, and creates an interplay of gazes and reflections.
The design is comprised of a simple box that unfolds a rich variety of different spaces. The architecture is simple, light, readable and functional, creating a symbiosis with its surrounding, allowing both sides to emphasize the uniqueness of the other: nature in face to architecture.