Flowers Hill (HaYovel Garden), Herzliya, 2020
Gan Hayovel is a 9,000 square meter urban nature preserve situated in Herzliya, a suburb north of Tel Aviv. Over the decades, as vistas of rolling limestone hills and orange groves were replaced by new construction, one hill remained an underdeveloped natural habitat; for local residents, this hill was known as “Giv’at Ha’prachim” (the Flower Hill), renowned for the colorful eruption of wildflowers during the spring months.
In 2015, the city of Herzliya approached REED in order to design an urban nature park on this unique spot ; a place inviting exploration and discovery as well as the unmediated experience of nature in an urban environment.
Three main objectives emerged from a participatory planning process initiated together with the local community: a) to safeguard the natural habitat; b) to enhance the accessibility of the park, particularly for senior residents living in the adjacent retirement home; and c) to develop additional recreational areas for the broader community.
A concrete walkway surrounds the central grassland area of the park, amplifying the contrast between the natural habitat and the activity areas. Along the walkway, an open-air museum was created, inspired by local knowledge - a senior academic entomologist who lives in the neighborhood. An Adventure Forest was created in an existing grove of olive and cherub trees, to which delicately sculpted tree trunks and processed bamboo planks were added, thus nullifying the need for a conventional playground.
The park exemplifies a sensitive development approach where exceptional care was given to the preservation of the existing habitat and trees. Natural areas impacted by development work were restored with local plants and seeds collected from the garden, and unique elements and sitting corners were created to enhance opportunities for intimacy, solitude, and reflection.
Size: 9.5 Dunam
REED Lead Arch: Moran Brisker
Client: Herzliya Development
Project Manager: Noam Gatt, Zamir -
Custom carpentry: KNEKASH, Ori Greenberg
Agronomist: Tal Glikman
Ecologist: Aviv Avisar
Graphic Designer: Ofer Kotler
Irrigation: Tova Levinov