elma hotel


elma hotel


“Mivtachim” was established at the end of the 1960s as a convalescence center for the Histadrut, and was an expression of the social idea of a welfare state.

Yaakov Rechter, who designed the building, won the Israel Prize for Architecture for this particular project.

The judges’ reasoning for his election was:
“… an architectural concept has been implemented here that unites the structure of the mountainous land with the view of the building in a sensitive and organic manner, yet unconventional. This sensitivity runs through the plastic and spatial design of the building in all its details. The conscious use of modest materials in their natural form, emphasizes the quality of the basic architectural solution and testifies to the architect’s ability to reach a complete solution with deliberate restraint of the use of means.”

When Baranowitz + Kronenberg were invited to take part on this masterpiece, they were instantly captivated by the building’s charm and refined excitability that echoed from every space, wall, detail and gaze.

It was natural and right for Baranowitz + Kronenberg to flow with the spirit of the building and use it as a platform for planning the guest rooms and restaurant.
The Rooms
Baranowitz + Kronenberg was in charge of the design of the original guest rooms and the restaurant, bar and lounge space located in the preserved building.

While the Center for Art and Music is full of life, lively with shows, exhibitions, workshops, and social gatherings, guest rooms are a respite. They represent the quiet before and after the storm.

The partitions of the original rooms designed by Rechter frame the slopes of the mountain and the sea in a wonderful way as if they were aperture in a camera lens. In the design of the rooms, Baranowitz + Kronenberg magnified the experience of the landscape, stretching from the mountain to the coastline.

The arrangement of the rooms places the living room and the bed facing the landscape and creates an immediate connection with it, “the beginning of a wonderful friendship.” The room “goes” to the landscape and invites guests to join it.

Baranowitz + Kronenberg meticulously chose modest materials, without a hint of ostentation: terrazzo floor tiles, concrete surfaces and oak wood; leaving to the landscape the be exclusive narrator of the guest experience in the room. The development of the furniture and the selection of the various design details also represent a pleasant simplicity, measured and devoid of whims, and a soft comparison of the rooms’ envelope without diminishing the present beauty of nature.

The architects wanted to bring in a design icon from these days and recruited Naora Warshavsky, the weaving artist of the legendary “Maskit” company. The textures for the room were developed in cooperation with Naora, who lived only for a moment the legacy of Maskit and designed a spectacular and contemporary color and texture that correspond to the view of the sun and sunsets.

The restaurant
The design concept of the guestrooms continued naturally to the restaurant on the upper level of the center, which overlooks westward to a breathtaking lowland landscape. Like in the rooms here, too, the architects sought to enhance the existing, to leverage latent potential and to adapt the space to a social salon experience in which the actors, the musicians and the spectators prey on an unmediated social experience.

The restaurant at the Arts Center is the newest player in the cultural field of the Carmel region. The urban spirit is frantic and sweeping not only before and after the show, but also an accessible, lively culinary destination that mixes with it an evening of people from all walks of life. It is built around an intimate and sunny patio overlooking the work of Israeli artist Sigalit Landau among many others. The restaurant also enjoys a spacious western terrace that hosts a living room for the sun, wind and sea lovers.

The architects designed the place as a multi-colored social salon with a wide range of seating alternatives that allows everyone to feel not only that one has moved to the right place but also found his place. The receptionist receives a simple living room. Alongside there is a bookcase filled with catalogs of exhibitions and local artists, and three fireplaces integrated into it, enabling them to be turned around. These accompany the guests into the depths of the living room where the restaurant bar, diner tables and wine fridge stand.

The materials designed by Yaakov Rechter in this space remained unchanged. With great sensitivity, Baranowitz + Kronenberg added additional layers of reference which enjoys and emphasizes his work. The selections concerned the desire to express eclecticism, sincerity of material, joy of creativity, and especially the calmness in humility, which is a small tribute to the life story of the building.