Tel Dor National Park extends over 70 dunams of natural land, its wild coastal landscape preserving relics from the splendid ancient port city of Dor. Extant on the site are findings from the Biblical era, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras. Standing on the top of the tel it is possible to see the relics of the harbor peeking out from the foam on the waves.
The planning goal was to facilitate observation of the ancient city from both close and far through a pathway with “windows” giving a view of different historical periods to create a varied visiting experience.
Another important goal was creating accessibility of the upper observation point for visitors with disabilities. We designed the path with inclines that are comfortable and in compliance with international accessibility standards, with benches and shade canopies along the way.
Three paths were designed for the site: the coastal path, the sea path, and the ridge path leading to the tel. The 780m-long ridge path was designed for the Nature and Parks Authority, Israel Government Tourist Corporation, leading to the southern lookout on top of the tel. The shaded seating areas were located at points of archaeological interest along the path, complete with signage explaining the finds.
The path winds along past the remains of the Roman theatre, among other structures. We placed the route along the contour of the theatre so that visitors can view it from the same angle that Roman residents of Dor viewed performances. Although the original theatre was higher than the visible remains, the seats that we installed in a radial arrangement along the pathway do recreate something of the historical experience.
We placed the shaded area in the southern lookout at an especially dramatic, breathtaking point of the tongue of land poking out from the sea. All that this breathtaking spot needed was a shaded seating area. From the lookout, visitors can descend to rejoin the coastal route.
When designing the materials for the finish, we sought integration into the marine environment, choosing concrete, wood, and Corten steel. Together these simple materials provide a minimalism of design that does not clash with the site’s archaeological drama and wild nature.
Architect’s Firm: BO Landscape Architects, Beeri Ben Shalom and Orna Ben Zioni
Client: Nature and Parks Authority
Project location: Dor, Israel
Design year: 2019
Completion Year: 2021
Gross Built : 50000 square meters
Lead Architect: Idit Israel
Photo credits: Yoav Peled
Photographer’s website: http://peledstudios.com/