HaKen Hotel (The Nest) – Agamon HaHula
The hotels borders a nature reserve that is unique by international standards – a stopover for birds in their migration from Europe to Africa and back in the summer and winter. It is, therefore, a prominent attraction for birdwatchers from all around the world.
The project, the award winner of the architectural competition, was designed as a response to ecotourism, which is a growing component in worldwide tourism, according to the green hotel standard Green Globe.
Green architecture in the project results in significant accomplishments in reducing energy and water consumption, waste volume, operations, etc.
Particular emphasis was placed on integrating the project in local scenery and culture through a graded system of flat structures with green vegetation surfaces that harmonically blend into the scenery while gradually climbing towards the Golan Heights. These structures facilitate and encourage the activity and life of a variety of animals, and as a result, directly bring nature closer to all of the hotel rooms.
A patio system covers the pools (constructed wetlands) that accompany guests as they move throughout the hotel, and complement the hotel’s green atmosphere.
Award winning of architecture competition
Location: Agamon HaHula
Architect: Gal Architects
WAWA operations: Green architecture consultancy
Building category: hotels
The uniqueness of the region – its proximity to the Agamon HaHula nature reserve and the Golan Heights on the other side, along with its distance from built-up areas, necessitated a particularly cautious approach to minimize the project’s ecological and environmental footprint in terms of its cultural-geographical aspect, its visual aspect, and its infrastructure, energy supply, water treatment, and conservation of natural resources in the environment.
- Energy efficiency: Reduced energy consumption by combining solutions: a high level of thermal insulation, making use of the fifth façade for insulation by implementing a green roof that blends with the environment, clusters of rooms surrounding the patio with an ecological pool, creating an improved microclimate that provides natural thermal comfort.
- Thermal mass: The ceilings and walls of the structure – both the building’s veneer and the walls separating the units are made of mass concrete in order to store energy (thermal mass). The ceilings and the concrete walls are cooled by night ventilation, and by plumbing that transports the cooled ecological pool water through underground channels that take in the western wind.
- Preserving the local cultural context: Special emphasis was placed on integrating and adapting the project to the local scenery and culture through a scaled system of green roofs that meld with the scenery, and encourage the activity and life of a variety of animals naturally existing in the area. Local stone, which increases thermal mass, was also used to coat the walls.
- Water conservation: Is performed through a combination of several factors:
- Reducing irrigation demands by utilizing local vegetation adapted to the local water establishment.
- Harvesting air conditioner condensation and utilizing it for irrigation and for the cooling, decorative pools.
- The grey water cycle through the biological pools situated throughout the patio-sea.
Other advantages that can be mentioned in the green planning of the project:
- Bolstering ecotourism as stimulus for the preservation of nature values.
- A project that entirely projects ‘greenness’ – as part of the implementation process of this value with the public.
- Preserving ecological diversity.
- Combining the planning process with the environment in terms of topography, materials, and cultural heritage.