The Ed and Miriam Vickar Visitor Center for the Reclamation of the Desert in Sede Boker

The Vickar Visitor Center will house a permanent exhibition of the highlights of the scientific work accomplished at the Blaustein Institute for Desert Research in the various fields in which it is involved, as well as a display of the pioneering achievements of the Jewish National Fund in settling the Negev desert over the years.

The building is located on the west side of the main square of the campus of the Institute for Desert Research in Sede-Boker. The building is basically square in plan, its design reflects a desire to minimize energy consumption during both winter and summer. It has a compact exterior envelope which is well insulated.Windows are small and shaded from direct sunlight for most hours of the day to reduce unwanted solar heat gain during the summer, providing only even background illumination for the interior. Winter heating is provided by a ventilated Trombe wall which forms most of the south elevation of the building. The site plan reflects the need for water conservation, making use of plants which require much water only where a special effect is desired, such as on the planters framing the building itself. Wide-canopied, heat resistant trees will shade seating areas integrated into the podium, where visitors may wait for other members of their group. The rest of the site will combine a display of plants specially adapted to local conditions by researchers at the Institute, with informal desert paving and tiled walkway.