Sunday, September 29, 2013

Design proposal for an Environmental Sculpture

- Mitzpe Marcus, French Carmel, Haifa

I was invited in Spring 2013 by a neighborhood group of the French Carmel neighborhood in Haifa, Israel, to submit a design proposal for an empty plot looking out over Haifa Bay. 

The design was to fit in with an existing landscaping plan by the Haifa Municipality:

landscaping plan by the Haifa Municipality planning department

My proposal consists of several landscaping features:

  • two retaining walls built with natural lime-stone and slightly elevated ground level
  • four sculptural shade structures, made of wooden pillars at slanted angles, carrying shade-surfaces at various angles. Wooden planks are suspended between some of the pillars which serve as benches
  • a gravel surface with two or three especially chosen natural rocks

Photographs of the scale model:

The proposal is currently awaiting approval by the Haifa Municipality.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Private Garden

- Alonei Abba, Israel

I was commissioned to plan a private garden for a private home in the small village of Allonei Abba near Kiryat Tivon in the lower Gallilee region of Israel. The house, which stands on a property of approximately 1 dunam (1/4 acre) with a beautiful view over the Yizrael Valley, was recently bought and renovated by the owners. The owners recognized the special quality of the site and approached me with the request to design a garden with artistic qualities, which was to include a major water feature. This fits in well with the natural slope of the site.

view from the house towards the Yizrael valley - before start of the project

The design features a 20 meter long water course, including a wetland for ecological water treatment and two ponds; a Japanese style gravel garden, a Mediterranean herb garden and a geodesic dome made of branches.

overall garden plan

For the realization of the garden the I collaborated with Guy Spielman, a gardener and pond- and water-feature-specialist. The creation of the garden began in June 2013 with the construction of the terraces.

construction of the terraces

construction of paved path and steps made of railway sleepers
During the course of August work started on the water course. The ponds, the wetland and the stream were completed in the end of August and this phase of the development could be finalized with  planting in major part of the garden.

planting day

part of the water course

Friday, September 20, 2013

Harduf Playground

- continuing project - from Spring 2012

I had been asked by the Harduf Community to re-design and update the existing playground area for small children. An overall master-plan for future development was to be created, including the addition of innovative playground equipment, additional landscape features, improved access and other elements.

overall development plan
The new sculptural play-elements are to include:a wooden ship, a railway, a climbing sculpture, a labyrinth and an extension of the existing pond, including running water and a bridge.

sketch of play-ship
sketch of play-ship and bridge

The locomotive - made from whole tree-trunks

installation of the tree-trunk - turned upside-down
Work on the playground started in Spring 2013. The upper part of an oak tree which had died a year ago was cut down and used as raw material for the artist to carve a climbable sculpture. The lower part of the trunk remained to be transformed into a sculpture as well.

the tree-trunk beginning to be carved

construction of the labyrinth using interwoven branches

The basis for the labyrinth was built of interwoven branches, creating an undulating tunnel of varying height.
Then willow cuttings were planted along the walls of the structure and these given generous watering.

Soon the willow cuttings were leafing. And within two months the whole structure had become a green, living tunnel, giving shade and providing an exciting space for children to explore and to hide in.
the "greening" of the labyrinth

within two months the labyrinth has become a green tunnel

The next project was the construction of the spring and the water-course. This was built by the artist, using pond-liner, local lime stones, river bolders and cement.

building the water-course

The water landscape was completed by the addition of a beautiful bridge, built by local craftsman Avichai Ronen.

the water-course leading to the pond and the bridge

children playing in the water-course

children exploring the balancing course by the water feature