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Project in Detail

Wadi Rum Resort

Future Projects - Commercial, Future Projects - Experimental projects
Oppenheim Architecture + Design, Miami, United States of America
World Architecture Festival 2011 - Category Winner

Wadi Rum Resort Lodge 
Eric de Broche des Combes - Luxigon 

Through our winning international design competition entry for this most unique of hospitality concepts, we have been engaged in an opportunity to set forth a new benchmark for design, construction, quality and sustainability in the natural environment. Having enlisted some of the best consultants globally, our proposal attempts to reinterpret the way we have dealt with the earth. Here, where desert sand meets desert stone, we see a singular opportunity to devise a new contract between man and nature.

Earnest and timeless, the architecture is simultaneously powerful, yet comfortable; primitive, yet innovative; casual, yet elegant; raw, yet refined. The project merges silently with its wondrous setting, exploiting and enhancing the natural beauty of Jordan to establish luxury lodge accommodations – that are uniquely beautiful and luxurious. The resulting experience is sensual and sensitive, intentionally reduced to what is essential – romantically establishing a primitive connection with the universe through bold, elemental forms, sincere materiality/detailing, and the florid use of Jordan’s bountiful natural resources both physical and ethereal.

The conceptual point of departure has its roots in the tectonic and geological histories of the region. Through an engagement of the existing natural faults and fissures, the architecture is inserted in the landscape with nominal impact and primal elegance – synchronizing with the topography. The boundaries between man-made and nature, interior and exterior are deliberately blurred establishing maximum impact with minimum effort. Dramatically situated; yet, the lodges are nestled across the landscape – where architecture heightens rather than distorts ones awareness of the context. The lodges and villas in their various incarnations; rock lodge, spa lodge, tent lodge and reserve villa are all about space, not status; about connection, not dislocation with the awe-inspiring planet we inhabit. Their architectonic form responds directly to the rich regional cues: an evolutionary process that has established, over millennia, a clear and appropriate type that is in resonance with nature.

Sustainability is imbued throughout the project’s life cycle – where intelligent planning provides innovative opportunities for energy and resource conservation, up-cycling (as opposed to re-cycling), waste, and healthy building initiatives – where ecology and sustainability set forth even greater guilt-free luxury, not self denial. The project will synergize with the environment – harvesting the power of earth, wind, and sun in a discrete; yet highly efficient manner. Passive means of cross ventilation, the natural cooling effect of the rocks, and proper siting allow the project to minimize energy consumption and maximize comfortable healthy living. Great care has been given to utilizing local materials as well as various water conservation measures for both human and site irrigation (beyond super efficient fixtures--dual flush toilets, low flow showers, etc.) – establishing a relatively closed system of harvesting rain water in subterranean cisterns and re-harvesting grey/black water though a living machine of botanical and biological nature. All systems and services will be completely integral to the design.

“We have trained and heightened our senses to see, smell, taste, hear, and touch the mystical beauty of Wadi Rum. To uncover opportunities within the magical landscape to merge viscerally and emotionally with place by minimum effort and maximum effect. To uncover the inherent power of the desert through primal and instinctual design moves informed by the forces, rhythms and patterns of nature — past, present, and future. To reconsider our relationship to nature and to each other. To listen to our needs and fulfill our desires. To follow our hearts in order to find the soul of the project. To feel, to connect, to create the essence of Wadi Rum.
--- Chad Oppenheim, AIA, LEED AP”

Lead Architect »

Oppenheim Architecture + Design
United States of America

Professional Credits »

Client / Developer

Environmental Engineer
Sherwood Engineers
United States of America

Landscape Architect
Roberto Rovira
Azimuth Studio
United States of America

Structural Engineer
Omnispan Corp
United States of America

Sustainability Consultant
Savida AGSchneidergasse

Supplier / Product Credits »

Botanical and Biological Water Filtration System
Living Machine System
Worrell Water Technologies
United States of America