Saudi Arabian Desert Resort Is Inspired by Desert Flower

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July 1, 2020

In the Saudi Arabian Peninsula’s Empty Quarter—a desert covered with ochre-colored sand dunes below white salt flats (“sabkhas”)—a luxury resort is being planned beside the world’s largest sand sea. A Desert Resort Competition was held, won by X-Architects, which envisioned a “constellation” of structures which would grow vertically like the desert flower Cistanche Tubulosa. “A polymer fiber mesh encloses the structure, partially to  minimize exposure to sandstorms, collect water for indigenous gardens, and support the structure.” Dune units, following the existing texture of the terrain, alternately minimize the impact of the intervention on the land.

The Main Arrival Hall was inspired by natural carvings found in the landscape, and the interior spaces will be carved from dunes to form sand-filled columns.

Artists’ renderings courtesy of Vyonyx.