At TSTR, Tsurnamal Turner Landscape Architecture, we are on a constant search – for what makes a difference, for that principle that might guide our intervention. We always start from the site, in its broad context, both physical and cultural, keeping in mind the nature of intervention required. We doubt preconceptions. We aim to challenge the seemingly obvious givens of a project. Looking from a broader, unconventional perspective might give the best ideas for “cracking a case.” A place, as we see it, is always the outcome of its physical and seemingly natural characteristics and the human activity that shapes it. This includes also the manner in which the site is currently used and by whom. Therefore, understanding of the place refers to the cultural, economic and political processes that are manifested in it. These elements and processes are affected by natural processes and vice versa.
Natural elements are often underestimated. Too great an effort is taken to overcome them by engineering measures. Contemporary approaches call for respecting the site, its ecosystems, water, climate and the processes they influence. Our role as landscape architects is to integrate all these into the design process. To convey to our clients and the multidisciplinary work teams the role of the natural and cultural processes that shape the site.
Our intervention has to be simple. It is derived from complexity, but strives for accuracy and minimization. The main endeavor is not necessarily apparent, but it generates significant changes – in circulation patterns, angles of perspective, and connections between spaces or reclamation of a damaged area. This formative expression gives respect to what already exists, yet also offers a new, fresh interpretation which reflects the spirit of the times.
At the foot of Mt. Avital, an extinct volcano, an abandoned quarry reveals fascinating phenomena from volcanic eruptions. The dark cliffs of quarried volcanic rock tell the story of how this mountain and the entire Golan Heights came into being. This open-air museum will function as an introduction to volcanic tourism of the region. In order to rehabilitate the quarry into a volcanic park, the topography was designed to highlight the line of the quarried cliffs and allow for circulation of visitors. Points of volcanic interest along the quarry walls are connected into a self-guided tour. The huge piles of non-consequential earth that filled the quarry space were re-formed into a series of mounds, adding another layer of interest to be experienced by the visitor. These might refer to volcanic forms or quarry heaps. Their distinct character is enhanced by round precast curbs, holding the fixtures for the park’s festive night appearance. An interpretation system of signs and models guide visitors and lead them to deepen their knowledge and experience the site through its geological past.
Winner of the Israeli Landscape Design Award, 2013
Client: Quarry Rehabilitation Fund; Golan Regional Council
TSTR team: Yael Bar-Maor, Tamar Arieli Interpretation Design: Studio Avidani Lighting Design: Teichman Rosenthal Scientific consulting: Dr. Doron Mor
Jagged cliffs jutting into the Mediterranean, open views from horizon to horizon, and impressive buildings – a Crusader fortress and city remnants, an old British police station, and an ancient mosque. All these are to be found at Apollonia National Park on the outskirts of the Tel Aviv metropolis. Regardless of the site’s central location, it long suffered from its proximity to past hazardous industrial sites, and its great potential has yet to be fulfilled. A planned neighborhood of 4,000 housing units adjacent to the park will radically alter the way that the city “consumes” and utilizes this open space. The new neighborhood and the open space create an organic whole. This urban development will allow for cleansing the brownfield, enlargement of the National Park area, archeological excavations and development for tourism. This future development is a vision yet to come, therefore it is staged into several phases, all aimed at the rehabilitation of the natural landscape and reconstruction of uninterrupted movement along the coastline. An accessible path was recently integrated into the site, intentionally “new” in its appearance. A moderate, ecologically-friendly lighting system allows for the expansion of visiting hours into the cooler hours of the afternoon and appreciation of the site’s marvelous sunsets.
Phase A completed, 2014
Client: Nature and Parks Authority
Neighborhood plan: Minadd
TSTR team: Heli Elul, Avital Hagai, Lee Kimhi Lighting Design: Teichman Rosenthal
Marmalade Park invites visitors and passersby to a special experience of movement, a new way to feel the city, and an overlap of different user-groups. The park enhances its fascinating location within the city of Beer-Sheba – on a main road, next to the train station, at the seam between the University campus, and a neighborhood and business area to attract different kinds of users. The colorful path system of the park seams together the park areas – swings, ball playing areas, lily pond, bicycle pump track, and more. The path system continues out of the park to connect it to the surroundings. Each path invites a different use – running, biking, skating and walking. They are combined together in a harmony of colors, materials and dimensions, inviting visitors to return and use the park in a different way. The site’s topography was used not only to create a challenge for skaters, but also as a lookout of the whole park and surroundings. The paths are composed together to create a happy ensemble, a giant marmalade.
Client: Municipality of Beer Sheva
TSTR team: Dorona Yogev Lighting Design: Teichman Rosenthal
The purpose of the Discovery Trail is to attract children to the Botanical Gardens and invite them to learn about botany through experimentation and personal experience. The design challenge was to integrate the Discovery Garden within the existing botanical garden, an established park with a very distinct character and unique qualities. The strategy chosen was to weave the exhibitions and contents along a Discovery Trail that intersects with the Garden’s existing trail system and revives certain corners of the gardens as places for exhibits and activities. The trail invites visitors to play with “the water”, explore “the rocks”, meander on a bridge above “the tree tops”, and ascend to “the roots”. Each of these is an enchanting small world of play and learning. Information and playful clues are integrated onto the unique design of the path – a playful “yellow brick road” made of concrete slabs, carefully cast on-site and coated with acrylic “mud”. The Discovery Trail is intentionally distinct from the existing garden trails, inviting visitors who wander through the gardens to embark on a different kind of adventure.
Client: Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
TSTR team: Dorona Yogev
Landscape Architecture, existing Botanical Gardens: Shlomo Aronson Architects Exhibit design: Ido Bruno
Sculptural installation, “Roots”: Will Beckers
Nestled in the scenic Jerusalem hills, an exclusive spa hotel was recently opened. The whole complex is built on the base of an abandoned guest-house structure, making use of its existing layout. The design enhances the visitor’s experience of the surrounding landscape. A series of gardens and plazas face this view and draw it inward to the internal hotel space. The design refines the raw material of the landscape – the natural vegetation, the vineyards (“cramim”), the springs, the fragrances, and the hues. These were ‘translated’ into the contemporary spaces of the garden, creating a unique experience. The steep topography on the front-facing side of the hotel presents challenges of functionality and access. An 80-meter-long green wall accompanies the entrance garden, separating it from the main internal patio of the hotel. This vertical garden of local vegetation expands the narrow space of the entrance garden. From the inside, openings in the green wall allow framed glimpses of the view while maintaining privacy. A free- form water element meanders through the garden and ties it together, changing as it moves through the different garden rooms.
Winner of the Israeli Landscape Design Award, 2014
Client: Ellah engineering, Isrotel Hotels
TSTR team: Dorona Yogev, Erez Vinik Architecture: Melzer Igra Cohen Architects Lighting Design: RTLD