Section 7: Technion Campus – A Magical Garden of Scientific Education | 3 Km
Starting point: Mallal St., Technion Entrance | 212m above sea level
Ending point: Mallal St., Technion Entrance | 212m above sea level
Section 2 of the trail covered the establishment of the “Technikum” in Hadar Hacarmel in the iconic building that over the years became the Museum of Science. The building became too small to accommodate the large academic institution and relocation was deemed necessary. An area in Hof Hacarmel, near what is now Tirat Hacarmel, was originally proposed, but was categorically rejected as it then seemed too far from the city. Ben Gurion intervened and decided to allocate an area on the outskirts of Nave Sha’anan to the Israel Institute of Technology. The new campus was established in 1953 with the Faculty of Aeronautics. The last faculty to be transferred from Hadar Hacarmel was the Faculty of Architecture, which was also the first faculty to be established in the Technion and, in fact, the first faculty to be established in an academic institution in Israel. The Technion’s campus extends over a wide area on a wooded slope and this section of the trail is an interesting combination of nature, which is typical of the Carmel area; planted forest; architecture; and a technological, academic atmosphere.
From the entrance, step into the campus’s main thoroughfare through Yaakov Dori Rd. that leads to the main promenade and to a grassy area. On the left is the Segoe Building of Architecture and Town Planning, which houses the PeKA Gallery where fascinating exhibitions on architecture and art are occasionally held. Opposite stands a metal Obelisk whose design was donated by the architect Santiago Calatrava, a Friend of the Technion. The next port of call is the Ecological Garden. Between the outdoor theater and the Ullman Building turn left at the bottom of a flight of steps to reach a small, pleasant plaza and continue down to the parking lot. Turn left and look right to find the next flight of steps beside which is a sign pointing towards the Ecological Garden. Take the path marked with blue footprints to arrive at an unpaved road, turn left. Walk a few steps and turn right onto steps marked in red and another sign that points towards the Ecological Garden that leads to the entrance.
The garden is a true jewel of nature and not just any old nature, but a hymn of praise to Mediterranean vegetation in general, and to Carmel vegetation in particular. In spring, leafy plants bloom and during the rainy season, the small creeks fill with water. The garden serves as an educational and research area, and is an especially pleasant refuge from the Technion’s demanding atmosphere of study and research. In principle, it is possible to stroll in the garden for pleasure and discover its secrets. Clearly marked signs provide information about the vegetation. The recommended trail through the garden is detailed here.
From the entrance plaza, follow the yellow sign through the entrance “gate” and the garden’s administrative offices. Continue with the yellow sign and turn right at a red sign passing by the garden’s research areas. At the next “junction,” turn left onto a path marked in blue that leads to the garden’s ecological pool. This is where the garden “developed” in its early days when a chemical waste site was converted into the present-day pool. Walk around the pool and continue, following the yellow marking until the path forks; bear right to reach an artificial aqueduct. Walk down the length of the aqueduct as far as an unpaved path; turn right here towards a small gate marked as the exit from the garden.
After leaving the garden, turn right onto a path and steps that lead to on-street parking. Turn left and walk beside the façade of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering. Turn right at the first opportunity and right again to circle the Faculty of Chemistry and ascend the flight of steps on the left, which leads to a pleasant square with fountains – Reisman Square – situated between the Chemistry and Biology buildings. From here, turn right onto a path that climbs up, with the Physics building on the left. Pass underneath the bridge that connects the two buildings and turn left onto the steps that lead up to on-street parking. Turn left and walk on with the Physics building on the left and the Electrical Engineering building on the right. During lunch time, the Nuna restaurant in the Physics building is highly recommended. Turn right at the first opportunity onto the steps that lead under the Electrical Engineering building and continue straight up.
Opposite is the pine-filled Kislak Park graced with many sculptures.
Continue on the path and turn left where the paths intersect towards the roundabout on David Rose Blvd., also known as Jacobs Plaza. Here, if time permits, visit the Coler-California Visitors Center where, during opening hours, it is possible to learn a little about the diverse technological work carried out at the Technion.
Return to the roundabout – Jacobs Plaza – and from here continue up a steep incline on David Rose Blvd. and turn left towards the Faculty of Aeronautics. On the left, is a small path that branches off to the left and leads up to the building on a particularly pleasant path. The climb is worth the effort – the building housing the Faculty is one of the finest in Haifa. It was designed by Yohanan Ratner, a gifted architect and military man, who served as head of the Israel Defense Forces Planning Department. No doubt every Technion student has stories about their challenging learning experience, but those enrolled in the Faculty of Aeronautics may at least enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the building together with the added bonus of a beautiful view over the Technion campus, Haifa Bay and the Galilee.
The next stop is another nature trail: Lokey Park. To reach the park, exit the Aeronautics building on its south side and head the main road that leads to the building. Here, turn left walking up the road, and look out for the exit on the right onto a wooded paved path. The path climbs up through the forest in a north-westerly direction. At the fork, continue left and bear left with the path. Next to the “Senate” students’ dormitories is a lovely corner with a distinctive wooden bench, one of the Technion’s many beautiful corners. Continue on the path in the direction of the dormitories and walk the length of the road. The road twists slightly and returns to David Rose Blvd.
Cross the road. Opposite is the Churchill Auditorium and on the right the “Senate” building housing the Technion’s administration. Turn right at the steps or the ramp beside the Senate building. Opposite is the main library. Continue down the ramp towards Sherman Forum on the left where there is a memorial wall in memory of Technion graduates killed in Israel’s wars. From here visit the student house for refreshments or rest on the central grassy area before leaving the campus.
Leave by a different route, not before another surprising sight is revealed: from the Forum, turn left, pass by the student store “Michlol” to come upon the Technion’s distinctive “Ohel Aharon” Synagogue that was designed by the architect Professor Aharon Kashtan. From here, continue through the parking lots onto a wooded path that winds through the Rifkin student dormitories and leads back to the entrance on Mallal St.
Some useful links:
Sculpture Trail Brochure
English translation by Roberta Neiger sponsored by the social hub for community & housing, Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, The Technion