Serene Japanese-Styled Heiku Resort Lies At The Foot Of Mt. Gilboa

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This Japanese-style resort and spa attempts to add value to, rather than subdue, its natural surroundings.

My stepmother always says about life that there is no such thing as perfect, that there are only degrees of imperfection. So it is with green building. Foster & Partners are among the world’s most evolved architectural firms, but they are working with massive budgets that are only sustainable for a certain elite. On the other extreme, ecological kibbutzes and individual families are building rammed-earth homes in the spirit of Hassan Fathy, homes that have a wider application.

TEAM architects led by Zvika Taman fall somewhere in between. Their Heiku Resort & Spa, like the Red Sea film school, while using new materials nonetheless strives to add value to its natural surroundings. Built with Japanese principals in mind, we think it succeeds.


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At the crux of TEAM’s style is to derive inspiration from and demonstrate sensitivity to its natural environment. Taman has worked in Asia and appears to have an intimate understanding of Japanese culture, which fondly integrates nature into day-to-day life.

Come to think of it, does the tiny island have a choice?

Simplicity, restraint, and accuracy are the most important qualities borrowed from the Japanese to allow the Heiku house to snuggle into its surroundings at the foot of Mt. Gilboa.

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The 70 units are scattered throughout the property, where the mountain meets with the Issachar Valley, like rolling boulders- each jutting out gently from the dramatic landscape.

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Although certainly modern, the units pictured above are so minimalist that nature is allowed to take precedence to the architecture. Even so, the architecture is certainly worth marveling over.

More on Green Building in the Middle East:

Foster & Partners Finish Gorgeous Green Building in Morocco

Bring Moshe Safdie’s Green Building to the Middle East

Green Building in Iran: The “Bagdir” Windcatchers of Yadz

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