A Nature Enveloped Village
Since the 1950s, Camp Alonim has been a welcoming Jewish community for campers and families of all backgrounds and religious observance. Recently, the camp has identified several areas in which they are looking to improve its campus and the experience of its campers and staff. Abramson Architects has been brought on to design and oversee the changes of Camp Alonim’s Arrival Area, Welcome Center, and Hillside Camper Village. Our approach honors Camp Alonim’s values through its fully accessible and environmentally conscious design while modernizing the facilities to better meet the needs of campers, counselors, and their growing community.
A new entrance area and drop-off loop have been added to redirect traffic away from a high-traffic area on American Jewish University’s campus, on which the camp is located. The new entrance is designed with an atypical parking structure that preserves the locally protected tree species while immersing visitors into the camp’s natural surroundings.
The newly designed Welcome Center will act as a centralized hub for camp administration. The new building houses a guest reception area and private meeting spaces for administration use. The Welcome Center is equipped with Outdoor spaces are integrated in both the front and back for visitor and employee use, respectively.
The Hillside Camper Village provides campers with ample natural light, connection to the outdoors, and natural ventilation. Where the village was previously divided by gender, the camp is now divided into age groups. Each cabin is equipped with separate girls and boys dormitories and a shared outdoor space. Similar-aged campers are assigned to the same cabin, providing a more congruent social system. A unique mural painted on the face of each cabin makes for easy wayfinding for campers and embraces the importance of both natural and artistic beauty.
Inside, the fully airconditioned spaces support about eight bunk beds per dorm for approximately 32 campers per cabin. Windows have been designed and integrated with both the top and bottom bunk beds. Decomposite granite paths connect the cabins creating an accessible trail integrated in the natural landscape.
Three counselor cabins clad in matching cement board are interspersed throughout the camper village. These smaller cabins include interior and exterior common areas for socializing and relaxing. Each counselor is assigned a private room, providing a space that encourages a developing sense of independence and ownership. The mature and cozy design helps keep counselors well rested while empowering them to take on the responsibilities of their leadership role to make a lasting impact on the campers’ lives.